Word of the Day

by Kirsten Patterson

October 14, 2020


I learned a new word this spring. Not part of the novel Coronavirus vocabulary we’ve all acquired and not a word that I’ve heard before and never bothered to look up. This one was brand new out of the package for me, and I had to ask Google how to pronounce it. It rolls off the tongue like a comfort, like a pronouncement, like the perfect description for a feeling I couldn’t put words to.


del·i·quesce | \ ˌde-li-ˈkwes \

deliquesced; deliquescing
Definition of deliquesce
intransitive verb
1: to dissolve or melt away

In the context of executing lofty quarantine goals to learn a new language or instrument or skill, Ms. Zoe Williams said this: “The day doesn’t so much race past as deliquesce; it lands in a melted heap at my feet at about 4pm. That’s the universal time of realisation that nothing has happened, and nothing will.”*

Have you felt any of your days or goals or good intentions deliquesce into a puddle at your feet this year? I most definitely have.

For the first time this fall, all of our women’s Bible studies are studying the same book: the book of Genesis. And if you’ve been studying with us (if not, it’s not too late to join!), the thing you will recall right off the bat is that God created something out of nothing. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”

It’s the opposite of deliquescing. It’s the shaping and forming of something formless, by the eternal (always existing) God. As I read the creation account, I’ve been thinking a lot about God’s constancy, about how John says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. At no time was God ever a new word, God is and always has been the Word. And He has the power to take my days and my life, which have deliquesced into a puddle at my feet, and to redeem them and form them into something good for His pleasure and glory. At a time where it can feel like I’m just standing in a puddle of mud, I am finding such hope and comfort in paying attention to His power and constancy in creation.


* Zoe Williams. “Every day starts with an ambitious new lockdown project. Yet none of them ever gets done.” The Guardian, Sunday 26 April 2020.

Kirsten is a morning person who, after she pries herself from bed, can be found out on the trails with her dog Zoe enjoying the sunrise and the promise of a new day.