Great is the Lord

by DanWolgemuth on January 8, 2010

The book is called School House. It’s one of Malia’s (our two-year-old granddaughter) favorites. It’s one of those “Chubby Shape Books.” It has 85 words scattered across 16 pages, enhanced with some creative pictures.

On page seven of the book the teacher (a glasses-wearing lamb, clothed in a purple-striped dress), points to a flip chart with a picture of an elephant on it. The copy on page eight reads: “The teacher asks the children to name the animal. Can you name the animal?” (Hey, how do you get one of those writing gigs?)

For whatever reason, Malia loves this book. Every time we get to page seven, I too point to the flip chart and ask her to tell me what the animal is. Sometimes she answers; sometimes she let’s me know that I need to push on to page nine and ten.

On December 30, 2009 something incredible happened. It was on that chilly Denver night that a group of us headed to the Denver Zoo. They had more lights than animals, and more cotton candy and kettle corn than lights.

In due time we made our way to the Pachyderm building. The sheer size of the crowd made us realize that something more than lights and junk food was available inside.

I scooped Malia out of the wagon that we were pulling her in and made my way through the “stink” into the building. An immediate left and we were on the railing in front of two enormous elephants. The animal on the left was drinking out of a puddle in front of it and the monstrosity on the right was scooping up hay and shuttling it from trunk to mouth.

Without looking at her, I admonished Malia… “Look at the elephants!” What a waste of breath! Malia was not only looking, she was spellbound. Her mouth was literally open, jaw down, and eyes as wide as they could possibly be. She was in awe.

We stood… I’m not even sure for how long. Malia’s expression never changed. No dialog, no question, no humorous explanation… nothing moved her from awe.

Until December 30 at 7pm, Malia only thought of an elephant as a two-dimensional, two-inch-high drawing on a flip chart page. In fact, on page seven the elephant is smaller than the teaching lamb!

But not at the zoo. The elephant was real, and it was grand.

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised…” ~ Psalm 48:1

Is it possible that we’ve done our best to tame the untamable God? Have we placed Him on page seven in a Chubby Shape Book? Is He safe, manageable, confined?

No. He’s awesome. And any and every authentic encounter with our God will propel us to a dropped-jaw awareness.

I went to the schoolhouse myself on the 30th of December… and I did it through the eyes of a two-year-old.

Yes… Great is the Lord!

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