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  • Kimberlee Runnion

God without Words

“The sky is orange,” she laughed. They all laughed.

“Of course the sky isn’t orange­—that would be silly!” she said.

It was orange last night.


“Broccoli is a flower,” I learned.

But it looks like a tree.


Goose. What a weird word, I thought,

as I looked at the nineteen geese in front of me,

one keeping watch while the rest ate.

Goose. That says nothing about this creature.


Four years ago, I started my Master of Divinity program.

My theology professor sagely spent the first day calming anxieties,

making the topic accessible.

“Theology,” she said, “is just words about God.”

“You’re all theologians already because you already think and write

words…about…God.”

How profound.


I know her lecture opened doors that day.

I know she helped to make many students feel less intimidated.

I appreciated that she assigned us vocabulary words,

not so we could sound smarter or better

but so the world of theological writing would be open to us,

accessible to us.

So that we could understand.

Words.

About.

God.


Be still and know that I am God.


I used to struggle with the “be still” part.

I always knew.

I always knew words about God.


But along the way,

as I carefully crafted my words about God,

I forgot how to know God.

I forgot how to know God.

Without.

Words.


I went on a walk tonight to pray.

I went on a walk tonight to think words about God.


Instead, I watched geese eating.

I saw performers cleaning up their stage equipment in the park.

I saw little boys playing soccer together.

I watched a little girl honk at the geese

and a little boy and his new puppy learn how to be friends.

I felt the cool breeze on my bare arms.

I saw the sky change from blue…

to gold…

to pink…

to beige…

and back to blue

with a pumpkin orange moon that had the face of a panda.


I could tell you that the lake looked like a mirror,

but it didn’t.

It still had ripples.

Mirrors don’t have ripples.

I could tell you that the lake looked like a mirror.

But you wouldn’t understand.

Unless you were there.

Unless you knew.

Without.

Words.

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