I could be called a word man, I suppose — whether writing, reading, editing, teaching, or preaching, I’m dealing with words. And I like words. Love them, and the way they can be so expressive or descriptive or evocative.
But sometimes words fail. How can words express the simple beauty of a pumpkin patch on a mountain side, where the farmer has gathered colorful varieties for easy choosing, with a sky that’s blue enough to cry over?
How can words express what it does for the soul to sit quietly in the tiny sanctuary of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Beaver Creek and ponder the spiritual richness of the frescoes Ben Long painted there?
When driving up through a cloud bank on the Blue Ridge Parkway, then pausing to wonder at what it’s like to be above one layer of clouds and below another while leaves appear to turn before your eyes, where are the words for that?
And even beyond the astounding gifts of creation, there’s friendship — enduring friendship. These guys and two others who couldn’t make the 25th anniversary retreat of the “Dead Preachers Society” know the meaning of what “friendship” means — but none of us could put it into words.