children want to know everything, their curiosity has killed many cats. if you give them a toy, they will find many uses for it, even unintended ones. their questions seem endless. their enthusiasm for learning never stops. they push and they prod. they try things that adults are now afraid to do. they don’t care much for answers, but are more intrigued by the discovery. by the intrigue. their hungry innocence guides them into more undiscovered countries and they beckon us to journey on. to find but not grab. and to hold things with a flexible resilience.
i have been instinctively, slowly moving away from theology as a practice. practically, it seems i cannot. the word itself carries so much baggage with it. it no longer is about studying god, it is about whether or not we have the right or wrong theology. and i just can’t be on board with that. and so maybe we need a new word all together. that is if we choose to continue to use the structures we are currently in. that is if we willingly victimize ourselves as helpless pedestrians of etymological captivity. let me explain. semantics, grammar, language, syntax and many other literary titles have followed us through the centuries. language has followed us. not mystery. definition has peppered the skies like clouds against the backdrop of ambiguity. but, i think we need to get ambiguity back. we need it to chase it down, like a jilted lover. mystery has become the prisoner of knowledge and enlightenment. mystery has become the whore on the street who seeks anyone that will take her. without mystery, there is the illusion that we can obtain all the answers about life, the divine, ourselves, pain, joy and the homeless guy begging for a cigarette. the mystics thought it was important that mystery be at the forefront of our discovery.
if we are always speaking and have words for everything, well that isn’t much different than colonialism or consumerism. and if we believe god has a word for everything, then we believe in a god who is about consumerism. a consumer god (my next book). we will support frameworks of oppressive language and regimes that advocate the necessity of response. in the middle of trying to find an answer to a question, we will do more damage than silence ever could. in the middle of a war-torn village where children get raped for rice, having an answer might disprove the existence of god. silence is golden as the say. i think the jews got god wrong, some of that shows up in their writings, like we get god wrong. and so god isn’t the army god who consumer villages and people groups, but he is the good who steps back and he himself is silent, not only so we can speak up, but so we too can join him in the conundrum that is silence…
if i want to be good at anything, it is being good at not knowing. and letting my unawareness build the necessary trust i need to keep moving on. and to invite the unnecessary truths that choose to peek out from behind the rocks. life is that beautiful of a journey, and i feel like the need for answers cheapen that. so, maybe we need an anarchy of words.
a revolution of silence. anyone want to join…raise your hand in protest. close your mouth in membership. and rest in the awe that the divine isn’t found in the spoken word, but is wrestled with in the tension between the spoken and the unspoken. this is where i want to be. where do you want to be?