Surprised by Wonder April 20, 2008Posted by sensawunda in Other Sites, Quotes, Spirituality.
I haven’t been reading much fiction lately, or watching many movies or TV shows. But I keep finding, in the most surprising places, passages in my non-fiction reading that pertain to sense of wonder.
The title of this post might make you think I’m going to write about C.S. Lewis. Actually, the author in question is John Piper, but I don’t think he’d mind; he likes to quote Lewis.
This quote comes from page 192 of When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper:
The Power of Human Words to Make the World a Cause of Joy
It is not a mistake that so much of the Bible is written in poetry. Nor is it a mistake that there are so many biblical metaphors and similes. The lesson is that God has ordained for language to pierce and portray what colorless language cannot do. The human heart moves irrepressibly toward poetry because it knows intuitively that the natural world is not all there is. The heart may not even believe that the heavens are telling the glory of God. But it knows, deep down, that they are telling something more than meets the physical eye.
Therefore, in our fight for joy it may often be helpful to read penetrating literature and see powerful drama. Not because they can ever rival or replace the Scriptures, but because they are part of the God-revealing creation and its reflection. God did not put us in the world to ignore it, but to use it wisely. From the beginning, human beings have discovered that the reflection of the world in human art wakens us to the world itself and what the world is saying about God. Echoes can waken us to the shout of reality, and poetry can give us eyes to see. If we weren’t afflicted with persistent sleepiness of soul, we might see all the glory there is in nature. But as it is, we need help from creative artists.
You can read John Piper’s book Desiring God, its sequel When I Don’t Desire God, and a number of Piper’s other books online—free!