When I left you, I thought to myself that patient rooms are the best classrooms.

Better than graduate seminars and intensives. Better than syllabi with supplemental reading lists so long they make your eyes hurt.

The simple wisdom coming from the lives of pained people is exquisite, expensive truth that I get for showing up as a chaplain. I didn’t have to pay tuition or get reimbursed for my travel. I didn’t have to buy a book or copy an article. I, simply, answered a page.

You told me something I’ve heard in different ways by other people. You said, my words not yours, that our conceptions of God are ours, that they are personal, and that they can be taken only so far. You used the image of the stars and suggested that we ought to be humble as humans because we “perhaps just stumbled upon the ability to think.”

You said that our ways of understanding God should be humbled by such things. And I’m considering the depth of your words. We ought to be humbled by such things.

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