Theme:
Mystic: Howard Thurman

Mystic: Howard Thurman

Summary: Sunday, July 21—Friday, July 26, 2019

The goal of life is God! The source of life is God! —Howard Thurman (Sunday)

God reveals God’s Presence out of the mystery of Being. —Howard Thurman (Monday)

Faith teaches us that God is. —Howard Thurman (Tuesday)

It has long been a matter of serious moment that for decades [Christians] have studied the various peoples of the world and those who live as our neighbors as objects of missionary endeavor and enterprise without being at all willing to treat them either as brothers or as human beings. —Howard Thurman (Wednesday)

What does our religion say to the poor, the disinherited, the dispossessed? —Howard Thurman (Thursday)

If being Christian does not demand that all Christians love each other and thereby become deeply engaged in experiencing themselves as human beings, it would seem futile to expect that Christians as Christians would be concerned about the secular community in its gross practices of prejudice and discrimination. —Howard Thurman (Friday)

 

Practice: Attending to Details

The mystic’s concern with the imperative for social action is not merely . . . to feed the hungry, not merely to relieve human suffering and human misery. If this were all, in and of itself, it would be important surely. But . . . the basic consideration has to do with the removal of all that prevents God from coming to . . . [fullness] in the life of the individual. Whatever there is that blocks this, calls for action. —Howard Thurman [1]

Each Saturday we offer an invitation to contemplative practice. You may not always choose to try the practice we suggest, but I hope you will explore today’s, even if you have a regular contemplative practice.

One of our Living School teachers, Dr. Barbara Holmes, writes about “crisis contemplation” as a way to express grief and find refuge in the midst of danger. We need practices to move through suffering and find creative responses. One example of crisis contemplation occurred on plantations:

Here, enslaved Africans created narratives of survival that depended on personal courage and God’s deliverance. The word courageous within the context of slavery is problematic because it has incongruous but romantic overtones. Those who attempt to describe the horrors of one holocaust or another inevitably use language that mythically denies, romanticizes, or diminishes the oppression. When history is collapsed into myth, responsibilities become diffused, and repentance and reconciliation become impossible.

In the inflated realm of mythical oppression, villains are so villainous that no one sees themselves reflected in the image. Few can trace accrued privileges to specific and intentional evil acts. Similarly, victims become so quintessentially and epically victimized that all escape routes from the condition are sealed off by a maze of self-doubt, blaming, and low self-esteem. The antidote to this phenomenon is to attend to the details, to understand the specific events, ancestors, life stories, causes of oppression, and avenues of social change. Historical and spiritual specificity is salvific. Then and only then can the movement toward moral flourishing begin. [2]

Meditation teacher Ruth King helps people cultivate awareness of how we impact each other and ourselves, especially being “mindful of race.” For those of us who are white, thinking about our own race can be unfamiliar and uncomfortable. For people of color whose ancestors and they themselves have experienced oppression, this exploration can be quite painful. But the path toward healing for all of us includes attending to the details, as Holmes suggests, and seeing reality as it is.

Find some uninterrupted time to reflect on Ruth King’s questions below. After you’ve held these with an open heart, you may wish to do some research with an open mind.

  • ​Where in your life do you feel numb, shut down, dismembered, disrespected, or disconnected? What is your earliest memory of feeling this way? What events or circumstances do you believe gave birth to these experiences? What do you believe such feelings keep you from knowing?
  • What racial identities or ethnicities have shaped how you have come to know yourself as a race?
  • ​What views did your ancestors, elders, parents, or caretakers have about race? How did their views impact you? In what ways were/are your views similar or different?
  • What are the roots of your racial lineage? Given your lineage, what has your race gained or lost throughout the generations? How have these gains or losses influenced your racial views today? [3]

References:
[1] Howard Thurman, “Mysticism and Social Action,” cited in Alton B. Pollard III, Mysticism and Social Change: The Social Witness of Howard Thurman (Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers: 1992), 65.

[2] Barbara Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church, 2nd ed. (Fortress Press: 2017), 80.

[3] Ruth King, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out (Sounds True: 2018), 173, 174.

For Further Study:
Howard Thurman: Essential Writings, ed. Luther E. Smith, Jr. (Orbis: 2006)

Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (Beacon Press: 1976)

Howard Thurman, The Luminous Darkness: A Personal Interpretation of the Anatomy of Segregation and the Ground of Hope (Friends United Press: 1989, ©1965)

Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press: 1999)

“Howard Thurman: Good News for the Disinherited,” in Modern Spiritual Masters: Writings on Contemplation and Compassion, ed. Robert Ellsberg (Orbis Books: 2008), 90-103.

The Howard Thurman and Sue Bailey Thurman Collections at Boston University include manuscripts, correspondence, subject files, audio recordings, and other items; these archives are available at http://archives.bu.edu/web/howard-thurman/howard-thurman-collection.

Image credit: Children Dance (detail), William H. Johnson, 1944.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises. —Howard Thurman
Read Full Entry

Mystic: Howard Thurman

Being Christian
Friday, July 26, 2019

Today I invite you to reflect on your own sense of identity—both as an individual and as part of a collective—as you read Howard Thurman’s thoughts on race and relationships:

The burden of being black and the burden of being white is so heavy that it is rare in our society to experience oneself as a human being. It may be, I do not know, that to experience oneself as a human being is one with experiencing one’s fellows as human beings. Precisely what does it mean to experience oneself as a human being? In the first place, it means that the individual must have a sense of kinship to life that transcends and goes beyond the immediate kinship of family or the organic kinship that binds him ethnically or “racially” or nationally. He has to feel that he belongs to his total environment. He has a sense of being an essential part of the structural relationship that exists between him and all other men, and between him, all other men, and the total external environment. As a human being, then, he belongs to life and the whole kingdom of life that includes all that lives and perhaps, also, all that has ever lived. In other words, he sees himself as a part of a continuing, breathing, living existence. To be a human being, then, is to be essentially alive in a living world. . . .

If being Christian does not demand that all Christians love each other and thereby become deeply engaged in experiencing themselves as human beings, it would seem futile to expect that Christians as Christians would be concerned about the secular community in its gross practices of prejudice and discrimination. If a black Christian and white Christian, in encounter, cannot reach out to each other in mutual realization because of that which they are experiencing in common, then there should be no surprise that the Christian institution has been powerless in the presence of the color bar in society. Rather it has reflected the presence of the color bar within its own institutional life.

On the other hand, if Christians practice brotherhood among Christians, this would be one limited step in the direction of a new order among men. Think of what this would mean. Wherever one Christian met or dealt with another Christian, there would be a socially redemptive encounter. They would be like the Gulf Stream or the Japanese Current tempering and softening the climate in all directions. Indeed the Christian would be a leaven at all levels of the community and in public and private living. Of course, such a situation may lend itself to all kinds of exploitation and betrayals—but the Christian would be one of the bulwarks of integrity in human relations in an immoral society.

References:
A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Howard Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Howard Thurman’s work is inclusive. His life and theology were inclusive, and if he were writing today his language would more accurately reflect this worldview.” [1] While his masculine words might suggest that Thurman didn’t consider other perspectives, he did see many women in his life (for example, his mentor Mary McLeod Bethune and his wife Sue Bailey Thurman) as peers and leaders. We must grant this same sympathy to all those who write with sincerity in previous times and various cultures.

[1] Editors, Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press: 1999), 6. See Sunday’s meditation for my introduction to Howard Thurman.

Howard Thurman, The Luminous Darkness: A Personal Interpretation of the Anatomy of Segregation and the Ground of Hope (Friends United Press: 1989, ©1965), 94, 105.

Image credit: Children Dance (detail), William H. Johnson, 1944.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises. —Howard Thurman
Read Full Entry

Mystic: Howard Thurman

Why Are You Here?
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Today, as you read this second excerpt from Howard Thurman’s book Jesus and the Disinherited, hold an open heart and mind. In other words, read with a contemplative stance. The meditation ends with a question that I’ll hope you’ll sit with—as Thurman and his companion did for five hours—and not rush to a pat, tidy answer.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I have heard a sermon on the meaning of religion, of Christianity, to the man who stands with his back against the wall . . . the poor, the disinherited, the dispossessed. What does our religion say to them? The issue is . . . what religion offers to meet their own needs. The search for an answer to this question is perhaps the most important religious quest of modern life.

In the fall of 1935 I was serving as chairman of a delegation sent on a pilgrimage of friendship from the students of America to the students of India, Burma, and Ceylon. [On this trip Thurman also met and visited with Gandhi.] It was at a meeting in Ceylon that the whole crucial issue was pointed up to me in a way that I can never forget. . . . I was invited by the principal to have coffee. . . .

He said to me, “What are you doing over here? I know what the newspapers say . . . but that is not my question. What are you doing over here? This is what I mean.

“More than three hundred years ago your forefathers were taken from the western coast of Africa as slaves. The people who dealt in the slave traffic were Christians. One of your famous Christian hymn writers, Sir John Newton, made his money from the sale of slaves to the New World. He is the man who wrote ‘How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds’ and ‘Amazing Grace’—there may be others, but these are the only ones I know. The name of one of the famous British slave vessels was ‘Jesus.’

“The men who bought the slaves were Christians. Christian ministers, quoting the Christian apostle Paul, gave the sanction of religion to the system of slavery. Some seventy years or more ago you were freed by a man [Abraham Lincoln] who was not a professing Christian, but was rather the spearhead of certain political, social, and economic forces, the significance of which he himself did not understand. During all the period since then you have lived in a Christian nation in which you are segregated, lynched, and burned. Even in the church, I understand, there is segregation. One of my students who went to your country sent me a clipping telling about a Christian church in which the regular Sunday worship was interrupted so that many could join a mob against one of your fellows. When he had been caught and done to death, they came back to resume their worship of their Christian God.

“I am a Hindu. I do not understand. Here you are in my country, staying deep within the Christian faith and tradition. I do not wish to seem rude to you. But, sir, I think you are a traitor to all the darker peoples of the earth. I am wondering what you, an intelligent man, can say in defense of your position?”

References:
A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Howard Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Howard Thurman’s work is inclusive. His life and theology were inclusive, and if he were writing today his language would more accurately reflect this worldview.” [1] While his masculine words might suggest that Thurman didn’t consider other perspectives, he did see many women in his life (for example, his mentor Mary McLeod Bethune and his wife Sue Bailey Thurman) as peers and leaders. We must grant this same sympathy to all those who write with sincerity in previous times and various cultures.

[1] Editors, Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press: 1999), 6. See Sunday’s meditation for my introduction to Howard Thurman.

Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (Beacon Press: 1976), 3-5.

Image credit: Children Dance (detail), William H. Johnson, 1944.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises. —Howard Thurman
Read Full Entry

Mystic: Howard Thurman

A Subtle Peril
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Howard Thurman lovingly critiqued Christianity, which has often ignored the direct teaching and witness of Jesus in relationship with those who are oppressed. This excerpt is from one of Thurman’s most well-known books, Jesus and the Disinherited. I think this message is important today and always.

To those who need profound succor and strength to enable them to live in the present with dignity and creativity, Christianity often has been sterile and of little avail. The conventional Christian word is muffled, confused, and vague. Too often the price exacted by society for security and respectability is that the Christian movement in its formal expression must be on the side of the strong against the weak. This is a matter of tremendous significance, for it reveals to what extent a religion that was born of a people acquainted with persecution and suffering has become the cornerstone of a civilization and of nations whose very position in modern life has too often been secured by a ruthless use of power applied to weak and defenseless peoples.

It is not a singular thing to hear a sermon that defines what should be the attitude of the Christian toward people who are less fortunate than himself. Again and again our missionary appeal is on the basis of the Christian responsibility to the needy, the ignorant, and the so-called backward peoples of the earth. There is a certain grandeur and nobility in administering to another’s need out of one’s fullness and plenty. . . . It is certainly to the glory of Christianity that it has been most insistent on the point of responsibility to others whose only claim upon one is the height and depth of their need. This impulse at the heart of Christianity is the human will to share with others what one has found meaningful to oneself elevated to the height of a moral imperative. But there is a lurking danger in this very emphasis. It is exceedingly difficult to hold oneself free from a certain contempt for those whose predicament makes moral appeal for defense and succor. It is the sin of pride and arrogance that has tended to vitiate the missionary impulse and to make of it an instrument of self-righteousness on the one hand and racial superiority on the other.

That is one reason why, again and again, there is no basic relationship between the simple practice of brotherhood in the commonplace relations of life and the ethical pretensions of our faith. It has long been a matter of serious moment that for decades we have studied the various peoples of the world and those who live as our neighbors as objects of missionary endeavor and enterprise without being at all willing to treat them either as brothers or as human beings. I say this without rancor, because it is not an issue in which vicious human beings are involved. But it is one of the subtle perils of a religion which calls attention—to the point of overemphasis, sometimes—to one’s obligation to administer to human need.

References:
A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Howard Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Howard Thurman’s work is inclusive. His life and theology were inclusive, and if he were writing today his language would more accurately reflect this worldview.” [1] While his masculine words might suggest that Thurman didn’t consider other perspectives, he did see many women in his life (for example, his mentor Mary McLeod Bethune and his wife Sue Bailey Thurman) as peers and leaders. We must grant this same sympathy to all those who write with sincerity in previous times and various cultures.

[1] Editors, Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press: 1999), 6. See Sunday’s meditation for my introduction to Howard Thurman.

Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited (Beacon Press: 1976), 1-3.

Image credit: Children Dance (detail), William H. Johnson, 1944.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises. —Howard Thurman
Read Full Entry

Mystic: Howard Thurman

Faith Teaches
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Like many mystics, Howard Thurman saw that humans need to relate to a God that is both beyond rational thought—what I might call a force field of love—and very relatable and personal. This is why Christians have both Jesus and Christ: In Jesus, God was given a face and a heart we could trust, in one moment of time. Christ is God’s presence incarnated in all of Creation, before and beyond time. Read how Thurman understands this:

Not only is faith a way of knowing, a form of knowledge, but it is also one of life’s great teachers. At no point is this fact more clearly demonstrated than in an individual’s growing knowledge of God. It is obvious that, in the last analysis, proof of the existence of God is quite impossible. A simple reason for this is the fact that, if there is that to which God may be finally reduced, then He is not ultimate. But let us not be led astray by this apparent abstraction. Faith teaches a man that God is. The human spirit has two fundamental demands that must be met relative to God. First, He must be vast, limitless, transcendent, all-comprehensive, so that there is no thing that is outside the wide reaches of His apprehension. The stars in the universe, the great galaxies of spatial groupings moving in endless rhythmic patterns in the trackless skies, as well as the tiny blade of grass by the roadside, are all within His grasp. The second demand is that He be personal and intimate. A man must have a sense of being cared for, of not being alone and stranded in the universe. All of us want the assurance of not being deserted by life nor deserted in life. Faith teaches us that God is—that He is the fact of life from which all other things take their meaning and reality. When Jesus prayed, he was conscious that, in his prayer, he met the Presence, and this consciousness was far more important and significant than the answering of his prayer. It is for this reason primarily that God was for Jesus the answer to all the issues and the problems of life. When I, with all my mind and heart, truly seek God and give myself in prayer, I, too, meet His Presence, and then I know for myself that Jesus was right.

References:
A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Howard Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Howard Thurman’s work is inclusive. His life and theology were inclusive, and if he were writing today his language would more accurately reflect this worldview.” [1] While his masculine words might suggest that Thurman didn’t consider other perspectives, he did see many women in his life (for example, his mentor Mary McLeod Bethune and his wife Sue Bailey Thurman) as peers and leaders. We must grant this same sympathy to all those who write with sincerity in previous times and various cultures.

[1] Editors, Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press: 1999), 6. See Sunday’s meditation for my introduction to Howard Thurman.

Howard Thurman, Deep Is the Hunger: Meditations for Apostles of Sensitiveness (Friends United Press: 1978, ©1951), 145-146. See Howard Thurman: Essential Writings, ed. Luther E. Smith, Jr. (Orbis: 2006), 43.

Image credit: Children Dance (detail), William H. Johnson, 1944.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises. —Howard Thurman
Read Full Entry

Mystic: Howard Thurman

Opening the Doors of My Being
Monday, July 22, 2019

This week we’re reflecting on the writings of Howard Thurman. (See Sunday’s meditation for my introduction.) Today Thurman explores how prayer is not a transaction, nor is it about changing God. It’s about opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to be receptive to God’s already and always presence:

The place and significance of spiritual disciplines and exercises cannot be overemphasized. It is important, however, to understand what that significance is. There is no necessitous relationship between the disciplines and the awareness of God’s presence. All disciplines of this character are meant to “ready” the mind, the emotions, the spirit. They are no guarantor of Presence.

This is the miracle, the heights and depths of wonder and awe. God reveals His Presence out of the mystery of Being. With all of my passionate endeavor, I cannot command that He obey. All of my prayers, my meditation, my vast and compelling urgency or need cannot order, woo or beg God into the revealing of His Presence. Even my need and my desperation cannot command Him. There is an overwhelming autonomy here; God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises.

In the total religious experience we learn how to wait; we learn how to ready the mind and the spirit. It is in the waiting, brooding, lingering, tarrying timeless moments that the essence of the religious experience becomes most fruitful. It is here that I learn to listen, to swing wide the very doors of my being, to clean out the corners and the crevices of my life—so that when His Presence invades, I am free to enjoy His coming to Himself in me. . . .

I work at preparing my mind, my spirit for the moment when God comes to Himself in me. When it happens, I experience His Presence. When this experience becomes an object of thought and reflection, it is then that my mind creates dogmas, creeds and doctrines. These are the creations of the mind and are therefore always after the fact of the religious experience. But they are always out of date. The religious experience is always current, always fresh. [Emphasis mine—RR.] In it I hear His Voice in my own tongue and in accordance with the grain in my own wood. In that glorious and transcendent moment, it may easily seem to me that all there is, is God.

References:
A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Howard Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Howard Thurman’s work is inclusive. His life and theology were inclusive, and if he were writing today his language would more accurately reflect this worldview.” [1] While his masculine words might suggest that Thurman didn’t consider other perspectives, he did see many women in his life (for example, his mentor Mary McLeod Bethune and his wife Sue Bailey Thurman) as peers and leaders. We must grant this same sympathy to all those who write with sincerity in previous times and various cultures.

[1] Editors, Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press: 1999), 6.

Howard Thurman, Temptations of Jesus: Five Sermons given in Marsh Chapel, Boston University, 1962 (Friends United Press: 1978), 14-15. See Howard Thurman: Essential Writings, ed. Luther E. Smith, Jr. (Orbis: 2006), 45-46.

Image credit: Children Dance (detail), William H. Johnson, 1944.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises. —Howard Thurman
Read Full Entry

Mystic: Howard Thurman

The Meaning of Life
Sunday, July 21, 2019

In spite of all seeming evidence to the contrary, mystics know that God is love, and this love is both our source and our goal. I’d like you to recognize that it’s not just me saying these things. There are a great many theologians, saints, and laypeople who have conveyed this reality much better than I. I’ve previously written about some of the Christian mystics who have had a profound impact on me, such as Francis and Clare of Assisi, Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, and Teresa of Ávila. [1] This week I’d like to reflect on a more contemporary mystic, Reverend Howard Thurman (1900–1981).

Here’s an insightful description of how Thurman’s significant influence was built upon his commitment to contemplation and action:

The Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman contributed much to the incorporation of the contemplative in social/racial justice efforts. An African American theologian and mystic, Thurman was reared in an African American Baptist Church, . . . [and] served as spiritual advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and thus played a critical role as a “behind the scenes” leader in the development of an alternative to violence in the dismantling of racial injustice in America.

Thurman chose to engage in work that would serve all people and to use the contemplative experience as a path to peace, joy, and power. . . . [He] had the prophetic ability to make a connection between the silence and scrutiny of one’s inner life and the work for social justice. [2]

This week I’ll share Thurman’s own writings with very little introduction or explanation. His words speak for themselves. Read with your heart wide open:

The goal of life is God! The source of life is God! That out of which life comes is that into which life goes. . . . God is the guarantor of all [our] values, the ultimate meaning—the timeless frame of reference. That which sustains the flower of the field, the circling series of stars in the heavens, the structure of dependability in the world of nature everywhere, the stirring of the will of man to action, the dream of humanity, developed and free, for which myriad men, sometimes in solitariness in lonely places or in great throngs milling in crowded squares—all this and infinitely more in richness and variety and value is God. Men may be thrown from their courses—they may wander for a million years in desert and waste land, through sin and degradation, war and pestilence, hate and love—at last they must find their rest in Him. . . .

The source of life is God. The mystic applies this to human life when he says that there is in man an uncreated element; or in the Book of Job where it is written that his mark is in their foreheads. . . . To deal with men on any other basis, to treat them as if there were not vibrant and vital in each one the very life of the very God, is the great blasphemy; it is the judgment that is leveled with such relentless severity on modern man. “Thou hast made us for thyself and our souls are restless till they find their rest in thee,” says Augustine. Life is like a river.

Deep River, my home is over Jordan—
Deep River, I want to cross over into camp ground. [3]

References:
A note on language from Thurman’s editors: “We realize that inclusive language is noticeably absent in Howard Thurman’s writings. As gifted and prophetic as he was, Howard Thurman was also a product of his times, and inclusive language was not a part of the social consciousness. Regardless of language, the substance of Howard Thurman’s work is inclusive. His life and theology were inclusive, and if he were writing today his language would more accurately reflect this worldview.” [4] While his masculine words might suggest that Thurman didn’t consider other perspectives, he did see many women in his life (for example, his mentor Mary McLeod Bethune and his wife Sue Bailey Thurman) as peers and leaders. We must grant this same sympathy to all those who write with sincerity in previous times and various cultures.

[1] See, for example, my previous Daily Meditation series on the mystics: https://cac.org/mystics-and-non-dual-thinkers-week-1-summary-2015-07-18/ and https://cac.org/mystics-and-non-dual-thinkers-week-2-summary-2015-07-25/.

[2] Jacquelyn Smith-Crooks and Lerita Coleman Brown, “Howard Thurman: Contemplative and Social Activist,” Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Stories of Contemplation and Justice, ed. Therese Taylor-Stinson (Church Publishing: 2017), 71-72.

[3] Howard Thurman, Deep River: Reflections on the Religious Insight of Certain of the Negro Spirituals  (Harper & Brothers: 1945, 1955), 74-76. See Howard Thurman: Essential Writings, ed. Luther E. Smith, Jr. (Orbis: 2006), 40-41.

[4] Editors, Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart (Beacon Press: 1999), 6.

Image credit: Children Dance (detail), William H. Johnson, 1944.
Inspiration for this week’s banner image: God does move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. But He is so full of such wonderful and heartening surprises. —Howard Thurman
Read Full Entry
FacebookTwitterEmailPrint