Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Attempting the Tell

I suspect God is sad when we choose to live safe, sit-tight-and-stay-put lives. I mean, where's the need for faith when we never dare to venture out?   Like Dillard’s amoebae, we settle for pond water while a universe full of God-evidence goes unnoticed.  “We are called to live a noticed life,” says Bruce Main (Spotting the Sacred).  “Like Jesus,” he says, “we are called to begin the process of excavation by unearthing the buried and unrecognizable glimpses of holiness in our midst.”
This blog is, in a sense, my own exercise in noticing.  And it is as I wrestle with sentence structure, light bulbs turn on. Illumination comes during the struggle of articulation, not before (which is probably why I always wait until I've finished my blog entry before I decide what to title it). And though it is, for me, a  fun and rewarding struggle, it is very much a struggle.  Transcendence resists definition, it seems. Epiphany and syntax seem strange bedfellows.
The psalmist’s own frustration is apparent when he says,

“Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.”
                                           Psalm 40:5
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
of your salvation all day long,
though I know not its measure.”
                                             Psalm 71:15
I share the psalmist's pent-up emotion.  Speaking and telling do fall frustratingly short.  God’s wonders are many and I cannot know the true measure of what I see.  Tension mounts as I want so much to nail it, while at the same time I know I never will.
But this telling I must try, for I have discovered that just attempting the tell has been well worth the effort.  Through my journaling and reflecting and writing, I have realized that notice is just the beginning and that maybe the struggle of committing notice to language is what God desires… what makes Him smile.

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