What is Theology?

This reflection is part of a collection of responses to the theme: “What is Theology?” 

By Daniel Lawlor 


What is Theology?

The song of the rainy day

The rhythm when you just want to cry

But can’t

When the internal feelings are brimming up at the surface

And external sound reverberates

Ripples against the brimming

Untying the knot in the back of your neck

The song of the rainy day


What is Theology? 

The diner is old and silver

A few blocks from South Station

The sun sparkles through the window

But barely


The challenge continues

Again and Again

A new guest

A new old guest

A new guest

A new guest

Practical Theology?

Listening to the tear drops by the coffee

Extending a look on a painful smile

A cup of tea as a gift


What is Theology?

We are arguing

About what I’m not sure

And neither are you


What is Theology?

The room was tidy

It’s not always

We pulled up two chairs

And the water of the tea pot

Boiled a week’s worth of stress

Bubbled out a lost smile

Steamed billows holding the first story you want to write

Whistled the song

Hugged herbs that woke up

Burst spearmint aroma against the painted walls




What is theology?

The candles

Flickering and defiant

Against the walls

in lament and rage

The voices and tears

Crying forth the names of the murdered

Murdered, not departed

The candles and songs

Conjuring the aching hopes

of a life web demanding atonement

Under the moon, under sanctuary

With candles, laments and rage

Calling justice

Calling justice



What is theology?

The union hall is packed

Filled with people who say

“A Salaam Alaikum,”

“Shalom Chaverim,”


“Ave Maria.”

An injury to one is an injury to all.


What is theology?

The choir anthem.

The responsive reading.

The sunlight against the concrete sanctuary.

The sustaining spirit that animates hope, anger and life.


What is theology?

Wake Up

Wake Up

Wake Up

There is a tent for the Sun

Where is yours?

Daniel Lawlor is excited to be the ministerial intern at First Church Boston (Unitarian Universalist), and is a Master’s in Divinity student at Boston University School of Theology. A former middle school teacher in Fall River, MA and a fundraiser for early childhood literacy programming in Oakland, CA, Daniel is excited to learn what you are passionate about, and how we can work to build something connecting and healing.

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