teach us a new language

the synod here is about to begin a strategic planning process. i wrote a couple of reflections as a resource for it, this is one:

We are trying, God,
and we are angry that the world will not listen
when we try to speak of you,

yet deep down
we acknowledge that we no longer have the words
that speak of who you are
and all you have done.

While we know it is no sin to be speechless,
we must confess that we have stopped looking.

Teach us a new language, God –
one of wild imagination and courageous vision –
so we can begin to tell a new story
that will unfold your ageless plot of freedom
and grace
to a world longing to hear.
A story that will speak of hope with the turning of each page.
A story that you promise has no ending but love.


  1. I need new words to express how deeply this moves me – thank you. I hope you don’t mind, but I am posting this on my blog with links here, I don’t want to forget it.

  2. Cheryl,

    Somehow I missed this the first time around but Bob Carlton has brought this post back to my attention. This is really good. It reminds me of Bonhoeffer who wrote the following while he was in prison:

    “Our church…is incapable of taking the word of reconciliation and redemption to mankind and the world. Our earlier words are therefore bound to lose their force and cease, and our being Christians today will be limited to two things; prayer and righteous action among men. All Christian thinking, speaking, and organizing must be born anew out of this prayer and action…It is not for us to prophesy the day (although the day will come) when men will once more be called so to utter the word of God that the world will be changed and renewed by it. It will be a new language, perhaps quite non-religious, but liberating and redeeming

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