Isn’t that a curious word? It is the blend of ‘dumb’ – as in ‘unable to speak’ – and ‘confound,’ which means ‘to cause surprise or confusion.’ Put together, the dictionary said, ‘to be dumbfounded’ means ‘to be greatly amazed or confused.’
I have been dumbfounded this week, both amazed and confused.
* * * * * * * * *
The magnificent fall in the mountains of North Carolina amazes me.
Last weekend Jake and I were camping by a lake. The brilliant-blue skies, the evergreen trees standing tall next to florescent-orange and red and golden-leaved trees, the ripple-y reflections on the edges of the water, like living impressionistic art, the musty smells and the feel of the sunny wind, and watching leaves let go … let go … let go and fly and float: it all made me so happy.
It was like a perfect morning.
The next day some friends joined us. We four enjoyed being together, hiking up and down beside a boulder-filled river, rock-hopping across tributaries and passing through dry-grassy meadows.
It was another blue sky, leaves-letting go, glory day, and I was dumbfounded.
God had given me two wonderful days.
It reminded me of Rich Mullins’s old song:
There is such a thing as glory!
There are hints of it everywhere.
The hints are overwhelming
And its scent is in the air.
It’s more powerful than morning–
Oh, the morning can’t compare
With such a thing as glory. Such a thing as glory!
But then Monday morning came.
I woke up dis-eased and discouraged, and this whole week I have wrangled with the sense of guilt over my real sins and the feeling of sorrow for other’s suffering.
It has dumbfounded me, confused me. Why can’t I hang onto that glorious peace?
Rich’s song speaks to me. Here’s verse two:
There was a man named Jesus
And He was God and He was flesh.
And He came down here to lead us out
From this burning wilderness.
He took upon His shoulders
Our sin, our shame, our death
And there is such a thing as glory. Such a thing as glory!
I see the hints and scents of glory on earth, but we live in ‘this burning wilderness.’
Sin and shame and death are real but ALL GLORY to GOD, Jesus came down ‘to lead us out’ by taking it all upon Himself.
And that is dumbfounding, amazing!
Now Jesus lives in glory
And Jesus reigns as Heaven’s King.
And the love of God is pouring out
On the earth, the sky and sea.
We who’ve come beneath His mercies,
Will be compelled to sing:
There is such a thing as glory! Such a thing as glory!
These lyrics are helping me so much.
Read that last verse again and remember and believe with me.
God’s love is pouring out on us. (May the falling leaves remind me!)
We who accept His sovereignty and His love come beneath His mercies.
What an amazing and great – dumfounding! – place to live: beneath the mercies of God.
I’m telling that to my discouraged soul and I’m going outside to sing.
I feel compelled to write a new praise song with the word ‘dumbfound.’
On second thought, I’ll just stick with Rich.
(You can hear his song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcmRIrqU24)