Tonight at dinner I happened to take the vegetarian entrée and praised its tasty goodness to the Sisters at my table. When someone asked me what was in it, I couldn’t quite say and so simply replied “I don’t really know – it’s some kind of something.” I took some good-natured ribbing over the vague answer and the fact that I couldn’t describe a dish that had such obviously identifiable ingredients as squash and peppers and mushrooms.
Maybe there was a bit of laziness in my answer, but I don’t think so because the dish was far more than the sum of its parts. And isn’t it often the case that we are at a loss for words when we encounter something wonderful and good and more than just an accumulation of ingredients?
Who can adequately tell of the mist that breathes on the pasture at dawn? Who can describe the way afternoon light slides into the envelope of evening? Who can explain how the solemn high grass begins to dance when a jaunty breeze happens by? Who can describe the way shucking corn feels like shucking sunlight, as if one is peeling away layers to get to the kernel of praise within?
Although my good veggie supper can’t compare to the wondrous works of God, my inability to describe it points to something deeper – the inadequacy of language. When I savor the goodness and beauty around me, I often reach for words. But all I can really say that it is some kind of something, because who can find the right words to describe the wondrous deeds of the Lord? Ultimately, I stammer and fall silent, even as I let out the kernal of praise within.
I will bless the Lord at all times; praise shall be always in my mouth. Ps. 34:1