Say it like a guttural “hi.”
In fact, “guttural high” isn’t a bad definition for life.
The letter chet is the agony of a soul torn apart from itself pronounced by a violent gargling at the back of your throat. This is how life starts and how it rolls, this violent gargle of a word. We’d much prefer the smooth, flowing “L” at the beginning of our English equivalent. Our worship tends to be filled with liquid consonants that roll right off the tongue, which is understandable. The violent gargling sounds are barred from our language and our liturgy, typically. We save them for the misery of illness in private. Which leads to a truncated, edited, only partially shared life.
The fully shared life is always a chai life.
And if life in this world is a chai life, then what must eternal life be but an even more deep, more profound violent gargling?
Evangelical culture can be so coy with chai. Just a simple, easy-peasy decision made in a comfortable worshipping womb. Conception, maybe, but not chai.
There’s not nearly enough gargling and gurgling. Not nearly enough mess and blood and cords to be cut.
We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom, says the Apostle. Many pressings. Depressings. Compressings. This, in fact, was his fundamental message to newly conceived souls.
Ah, but that sells so poorly. That’s far too violently guttural for us.
Just give us the easy conception and that liquid “L” that flows ever so effortlessly…