Minister's Message - Finding Wonder

CONTACT: Rev. Dr. John Regan 405.341.3544 ext. 111
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” E.B. White as quoted in 365 Days of Wonder

I know it is the new year because I have a brand new 2019 calendar! In recent years I have received some great calendars from family and friends. But this year’s might be the best—it is inspired by R. J. Palacio’s book Wonder. I first learned of Wonder during our Fall book drive for Ida Freeman Elementary as it was the book we gave every child in their fifth-grade classes. Wonder tells the story of a 10-year-old boy named August Pullman who, because of a genetic defect, has undergone multiple surgeries so he can see, hear, and have a more “normal” face. Auggie’s unusual appearance and frequent surgeries have made him a kind, compassionate, and a fairly self-aware kid.

Shelley and I got a copy and on several delightful evenings, we took turns reading to each other about the adventures of Auggie attending school for the first time and entering fifth-grade. I guess between raising children and grandchildren most of us never think about reading children’s books, I mean what will people say about us? So, I was quite surprised by the emotional insights and poignant moments that came pouring out of every chapter and unexpected characters. I was sometimes shocked by the honesty of the book. On a number of occasions, I thought “is this too much for an elementary kid to read?”

One of the great themes of the books is learning how to become a compassionate human being which is not something that one is naturally good at; but compassion and kindness are learned in relationships with all kinds of people.

In 2019, I hope all of us resolve to seek out new relationships outside our familiar circles of connection. Meeting new people in our congregation, neighborhood, school, and our favorite restaurant offers hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered! The next time you attend worship try another pew, another time of worship, or a different table in the fellowship hall. Here is all you have to say, “I wonder if I could sit with you today?” Who knew that magical life-changing words were so simple and easy to say?

A few final suggestions— if you have not read the book, stop by my office, if you haven’t seen the movie invite a friend to see it with you, but hey, if you don't have a new calendar, I'm sorry—don't even think about borrowing mine!