today i saw a tree come down
by their cost

a wonder


A Warning to My Readers

by Wendell Berry

Do not think me gentle

because I speak in praise

of gentleness, or elegant

because I honor the grace

that keeps this world.  I am

a man crude as any,

gross of speech, intolerant,

stubborn, angry, full

of fits and furies.  That I

may have spoken well

at times is not natural.

A wonder is what it is.

(from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)


I like this poem.  It speaks of something that I find true in my own life. 

Gentle, elegant, well spoken words . . . from me? That is a wonder of wonders!  But, I am learning that it is so much more than that—it is God's grace. 

I know me and I know, along with Berry, that any good that resonates out of my words, work, art or effort is not the norm and definitely not natural.  Left to myself, I am a mess.  We all are.    

The only time wonder, goodness and grace are realized in my life is when God is in control.  And God, the one who is love, doesn’t take control of my life—I give God control.  The choice is mine.

God is ever loving, wooing and calling me to live a life that is a wonder and it is up to me to respond—to acknowledge, welcome, and obey God’s ways and presence in my life.  How can and does that happen in you and me?  

I think that Ephesians 4:30 (MSG) is a good start:

"Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit moving and breathing in you is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself."

I was made by God and in Him alone do I find my stride.  Any other path will leave me searching and out of sync.  God is not a condiment to be added to my bland, or at times, foul tasting life. Rather, God wants to be my all in all—as important and life giving as each and every breath I take.

As we, the created ones, allow the creator to move, live and have His being in our lives, we are used for good in the most unexpected ways.  When God is involved—our words, work, art and effort are transformed by grace, and then they make a difference in the lives of those around us.  

A life changed for good by me?  That is a wonder.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)