Confession: I’m completely out of words. I have nothing left to say. I open my mouth and only breath comes out. I tried to read a novel but even that was too much about words. I’m trying to gear myself up to speak words for the next few weeks, leading an Anabaptist history tour in Europe. Thankfully, I have a carefully prepared script, otherwise I might not have anything to say.

Justification: I realize this is a drastic confession for a theologian since my vocation is all about correct combinations of words. Say the right words rightly and it sounds divinely inspired. Say the wrong words and I’m banished as a heretic. Words, words, words! Sometimes theologians say too much and it becomes idolatry. Sometimes when we’ve read and said so much, the words dry up. I have come to the point of saying nothing for a time. It was a stressful academic year and May and June were more full with research, writing and speaking than usual. I often need a break from words at this time of year, and it seems this year more than ever. Now I need silence. Silence gives meaning to words, just as a rest gives meaning to music. My backyard project of leveling the ground and laying patio blocks was just right. There were no words, even in my mind. It was all about art, mathematics, aesthetics, and sweat. It was good for the soul.

Penance: No blogging for 7 weeks! A divine number for a divine mandate. “Cease words and know that I am God.”