By Judith Costello
My daughter just finished a book about “Wonders.” Back in ancient times, the first “travel writer,” Antipater of Sidon, listed the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the book Brigit read, a boy is challenged to see if there are any Wonders in his small, seemingly boring town.
Like the boy in the story, we often overlook the things that can inspire awe. But Brigit is 9. It only took her a day of reflection to identify The Seven Wonders of Brigit’s Life.
On her Wonder list was the time we found white feathers strewn across our barnyard. Brigit learned a big new word that day. She had raised a white rooster from the time he was in the egg. On that fateful day we discovered a stray dog by our chicken coop. He was licking his chops. The dog ran away when Brigit broke into sobs. Her rooster’s feathers covered every inch from the chicken coop to the hay barn. It looked like soft, fluffy snow. There was no sign of the rooster’s body, but there was a bloody hen shivering in the corner of the barn. I told Brigit, “Clearly your rooster sacrificed himself to save another bird.”
Our funeral ritual was interrupted when Brigit heard a strange sound coming from behind the horse. Peeking out from the horse’s barn, her tough white bird was calling to her with a squeak. His voice box was damaged, most of his feathers were gone and he shook with fear. But the bird was alive!
Brigit learned the word “phoenix” that day.
As our little girl reflects on the Wonders of Brigit, I decided I should join her in the quest to celebrate the awe-inspiring events of my own life. The more I contemplate these things, the more I can learn about how God works.
Wonder 1: New Beginnings
When I first came to New Mexico, all I owned could fit in the back of my Toyota truck. I was divorced and trying to survive as an artist. Mom went with me to visit a Real Estate agent. He laughed when he looked at my credit history. “It’s impossible to buy a house when you don’t have a steady income or any assets,” he said. Of course, he was right. But nothing is impossible for God. And the next day that agent called to say he had a house for me! It came complete with my last initial carved on the front door. It was fully furnished, required no down payment and cost less than many modern cars! It was a wonder-filled experience.
Wonder 2: Homecoming
Jurgen and I were “sophisticated intellectuals,” I thought. We didn’t need the structure of a church in order to worship God. But we had two young children who might need some structure. That’s what I told myself on the day we visited the local Catholic Church. As we sat there in the pews the choir sang these words: “Come back to me, with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart.” I cried, as the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder inviting me Home. It took only one song to turn our lives around.
Wonder 3: A Calling
I was helping at Vacation Bible School when the leader said, “I’m an undercover nun!” She’s a tiny lady with an impish grin. She announced that she was a secular Carmelite called to a vocation of prayer.
In all my years, as a good, practicing Catholic I had never heard about the Third Orders of the Church. I listened in awe as Georgianna described the ways she was dedicated to serving God even as she lives out her roles as a wife and mother.
That moment was another step on a journey inward. I was beginning to see the Wonders of God’s action in my soul.
There are many more Wonders in my life. But I share these as a challenge: Can you find the Wonders of your life? They are the kindling for the flames of the Spirit. The Wonders direct us toward our Father who has given us Wonder-filled lives.