In this fourteenth video on “Theological English”, Jonathan Dunne looks at the importance of the word “believe” in the Christian Gospel. The word “believe” crops up again and again in the Gospel – this is what God requires of us: to believe in him, to believe in his name, in order to receive – the power to become children of God, eternal life, salvation, healing. When we believe, all things become possible. The video focuses on John 7:38 and the verse from Scripture: “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” Once again, language is not only used to convey the message – it is the message.
It is remarkable that “water” has four of the same letters as “earth”. And where would the earth be without water? “Earth” has the same letters as “heart”. Without water, our heart would shrivel up.
What amazes me is the way it flows constantly. Even in the night, when I am not there. During the week. All the time until my next visit, it flows.
Sometimes it is blue, like the sky. Sometimes it is reddish brown, like a brick. Sometimes it takes on the colour of my shadow.
It is whatever is thrown at it. But sometimes it becomes a blur – too fast for my eyes to distinguish.
In the night, it is black – unless there is a moon, I imagine.
Water always finds a way – even if it has to go underground. Or fly through the air.
On Vitosha, I have seen it so calm it resembled a mirror. But I have also seen it rage after a storm. Then it is no longer transparent, it seems to boil.
We step on the land; without water, we would sink, as in a desert. Too much water, and we swim.
Water lies on a bed of gravel. And rests its head on rock pillows. It rises up from the rock. It slips through gaps. It causes us to build bridges – that is a good thing.
When it enters the air, it is smashed into smithereens.
Later, in the sea, it evaporates to fall on my head. Then I walk through a sauna. The water is so prevalent it climbs up my legs. I have sat in the car as it beat down with unusual ferocity. Still I got out.
I like it when it’s the mountain and me. Today I walked through the hordes, as if I came from another planet. Another age.
Water is most beautiful on the mountain. It is like a curtain. Or a seam. The mountain shudders. Sends the water tumbling. It resists – for now.
I know a secret place where I sit and watch it gleam.
27 August 2022
Text and photographs by Jonathan Dunne, photograph selection by Tsvetanka Elenkova.
Vitosha is the mountain that lies just south of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.