When you are in the presence of the Holy Spirit, it is like sitting in front of a fire that does not burn you, but suffuses you with its qualities — its warmth, glow, and color. And as you are there, in the presence of the Spirit, you also become suffused with the divine attributes of compassion, gentleness, and love, without your doing anything about it except to be there. You are loved and you are held in this love. — Bishop Desmond Tutu, South African cleric and activist
IN TODAY'S SESSION... We looked at how the transformation of a flaw into something beautiful can astound us, through the lens of the first Unitarian Universalist Source:
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life.
This Source is expressed in children's language as, "the sense of wonder we all share." We discussed how turning an imperfection into something beautiful can create a moment of "wow," in our hearts. In the story, "The Scratched Diamond," a gem carver uses a scratch on a diamond as the stem of a beautiful etched rose. Participants had the opportunity to turn knots or cracks in wooden treasure boxes into beautiful designs.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... ways you can transform uncomfortable situations, poor choices, bad behaviors, or imperfect objects into beauty. Watch for opportunities to:
- Find gratitude in the midst of a disappointment, by taking the time to name your blessings. See if you can find or create a new opportunity resulting from the disappointment.
- Talk about a failure, mistake, or poor choice See what new ideas or learning it provided. Point out that learning from our mistakes and succeeding at turning a bad situation around are important achievements that can make us feel a "wow" in our hearts.
- Turn a broken toy into something new.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... learning about inventors, with a focus on the many mistakes an inventor must make before completing an invention. Online, view a video on Thomas Edison from the History website. Point out that mistakes are not only inevitable but necessary signs of the creativity and learning that lead to inventing something new.
Family Adventure. Take a "Wow" Walk. Make a point of noticing things around you with an attitude of wonder and awe. As you walk ponder how the things and creatures in your surroundings came to be there. Try a variety of "Wow" Walks: in the woods, in the supermarket, at a museum, in the rain.
Family Discovery. Share books that affirm the value of learning from our mistakes. Check out the Magic School Bus series of books and videos in which the main character, Ms. Frizzle, frequently states, "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy."
A Family Game. Collect broken items or recyclable materials from around the house and work together as a family to transform them into a toy or game. You might work in teams; compete, using a scoring system that gives points for creativity, beauty, functionality, and fun.
A Family Ritual. Gather daily, or once a week, and have each family member share "wow" moments. Talk about what inspired you or evoked your awe and wonder.