Unsettling Caress

"Augustine's words whisper softly in the theologian's ears, like a soft breeze that blows over words written in the sand: 'If you have understood, then it is not God. If you were able to understand, then you understood something else instead of God. If you were able to understand partially, then you have deceived yourself with your own thoughts.' Ignoring Augustine's voice, theology often keeps writing, trading soft sand for solid stone--forgetting that Moses smashed the tablets when confronted with idolatry. When theology remembers its own limits, however, it composes images that reveal the traces of the passing wind and the immanence of their erasure, in faithful response to the unsettling caress of an indescribable God."

_Myra Rivera (The Touch of Transcendence pg. 17)

This quote expresses a beautiful reality of Theological language. Theology is always poetic even if it doesn't want to be. We are not nailing anything down or chiseling it in the stone. We are not sure, even though be may be assured. We cannot pretend we're certain because the subject of our discourse is unmanageable. This is ok, though. We shouldn't suffer grief from such uncertainty. Rather, we should allow God, the "unsettling caress," to penetrate us and knock us off of our feet. Theology is about embrace, the sort of embrace that transforms us. It is better of that God is unmanageable. If we could define God and place God somewhere within our frame of being or our arena of self... if we could get back to our feet and have God comfortably placed on a shelf, then we would never be privileged with the pain of transformation. God's face cannot be managed and thus God's beauty cannot be heavier.