Saturday, June 08, 2013

Holding The World In Wonder

Desensitization is a good thing for humans in stressful situations, not so much for frogs in boiling water. Like any sense or adaptation that is hard-wired in us being desensitized can be either good or bad. For the janitor cleaning the bathroom or the patient with the toothache it is a good thing. The problem is that we can also be desensitized to beauty or brutality.

On your first date with your wife you were in awe of her every breath and her every move. You could not stop staring. After a while her beauty doesn’t hold your attention. Not because it doesn’t exist but because you’ve become desensitized.

As a teenager everything was magical; nature was stunning, girls were incomprehensible and your first paycheck meant you could one day own the world. Years later God’s providences are lackluster, the paycheck isn’t enough and women are still incomprehensible---but now it’s a problem and not a wonderful mystery.

The dark side of the same coin is that we can become immune to brokenness around us. Violence doesn’t stun us the way it once did. Sexualized violence is now a marketing tool. When we see it we barely blink.

The challenge to us in our humanity is to choose newness. That is to say to hold the world in wonder though we’ve seen a sunrise more than two-thousand times. We must find a way that works for each of us to see people as amazing. Seeing my wife in the light of morning I look beyond the out-of-place-hair to that shine in her eyes. We can either be thankful and amazed at the world around us or lose all sensitivity like the frog in the pot.

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