The lexicon presents unique challenges in language documentation. This reflection reviews some of those challenges, focusing on two major areas, what I have learned over time about what is important to document and the creation of dictionaries. Throughout I stress the value of considering the lexicon broadly, and, in the situation that linguists are involved, of working closely with speakers and community members in all stages of decision making, from what to document to how to spell, to how to represent meanings. N. Scott Momaday writes of words as medicine, and this is important to keep in mind in lexical documentation – one is engaging with worldview. The responsibility then of documenting the lexicon is large, and the stakes are high, given how words give deep insight into ways of being.