The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Beyond words

Symbols speak the mysteries where words fail

Humans convey a lot of information through words. We listen to the morning news, write thank-you notes and take our grocery list to the store. Words assist our living.

But some things are beyond words. Saying "I love you" seems inadequate for the reality we feel. So we search for something, some thing, that might capture and convey our meaning.

For situations when words are too tiny, humans use symbols. We give each other flowers or wear a gold ring, and these things shout, "I love you." When the meaning can't get squeezed into words, symbols help

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March issue

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