On a broadcast of the 60 MINUTES news program, they featured a demonstration of a newly developed prosthetic forearm and hand.
Millions of dollars and several years of meticulous design work had gone into making that hand so that at the command of the person wearing it, it would open and close, so that it could pick up something and then release it. A simple movement.
I stretched out my hand, opened it and then closed it.
I picked up a piece of paper. Holding it between my thumb and forefinger, I was able to determine that it was not just one piece, but two….and they were both very thin pieces of paper.
How is it possible that I was not in absolute awe of that?
To this day, when my wife encounters a baby in a high chair at a restaurant or in a stroller, she cannot pass it by without making over it and then commenting to me…..what a miracle!
Several years ago my wife and I knew a woman who lived in what seemed to be a permanent state of awe. Really! She would see a beautiful rose and go on and on and on about it….one superlative after another….about this rose. “Isn’t it a miracle?”, she would say.
A lot of people thought she was a little off. I am embarrassed to say I wondered myself. But she wasn’t.
One of the many gifts of age and experience is the realization that so many things are rarely as they seem.
On the surface, it appeared that God had given her the gift of seeing what some of us were not seeing….to value and appreciate what many of us were just taking for granted. On the surface.
But there was another gift God had given this woman that really was behind her being in awe of so many of God’s creations. It was a gift wrapped in a paradox.
Throughout all of the Gospels one thing Jesus continually teaches is:
“the first shall be last and the last shall be first”,
“he who would be the greatest among you shall be the servant of all”,
“unless you humble yourselves and become as this little child, you will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”.
Then In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 18, verse 14, we have these words:
“….for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Her seemingly permanent state of being in awe of what so many of us just took for granted was no singular attribute. While she clearly had a healthy sense of self-worth, yet she was a truly humble person.
Humility frees us up to take our eyes off ourselves and see the “awesomeness” around us.
OH! REALLY? Hmm….