Am I so wonderfully made?
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” – Psalm 139:14
I have been reflecting on Psalm 139, a song concerning your inescapability, pervasive knowledge, and power. As a child, I might have believed that I was “fearfully and wonderfully made”; however, as I have lived 50 years on this earth, I struggle to see how all my life’s “blessings” suggest your power, mindfulness, or even your very existence!
I struggle with this understanding of you especially on this date because it was 19 years ago that I was very seriously injured in an automobile accident. We were in our Subaru wagon driving my son to daycare and me to work as a physics professor at Carleton College when we were struck by a truck that was going more than 65 mph when it ran a red light. It hit the passenger side of the car, right where I was sitting! I was in a very serious coma for 11 days and a semiconscious state for two months. I spent half a year as an inpatient at two hospitals.
I suppose that I needn’t relate to you all my struggles that followed – my learning to eat, walk, and talk again, my efforts to teach physics again, and my attempt to act as a responsible, loving father and husband again. I needn’t explain to you how, because of my injuries, my marriage fell apart and ended in divorce, and my employer fired me. So, I ask you this: God, where was your presence on the morning of October 27th, 1998?
I struggled with this question for years and I stopped believing in you after being unable to find an answer… However, the ‘Divine Lure’ spoken of by Nikos Kazantzakis, your Cry, was never silent within me! After some years of contemplating the status that I would afford you, I realized that I needn’t reject you entirely; I needed to reformulate my conception of God and God’s divine process.
Now, I can see you at work in the hands of the doctors who saved my life. You didn’t control their hands – that’s a juvenile understanding of you I embraced in my childhood. I understand now that the many doctors and therapists who helped me recover so completely were involved in the divine process of creativity and life enhancement. This process is you: you are relevant because you are the divine process of betterment and enhancement, the divine process of renaissance and evolution that works at all levels of creation. You are that which lures everything forward.
Because of this realization, I have chosen to serve you by helping faith institutions of any nature learn how to better invite, embrace, include and empower people living with disabilities into active lives in their communities. I suppose my efforts, in a way, have become part of what I understand you to be!
I thank you for this opportunity to serve you!
—- Dr. Kevin Pettit
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Kevin Pettit is a Commissioned Minister in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the UCC
Am I so wonderfully made? is one of the devotionals written in honor of Disability Awareness Month 2017.