Oakland church

Dr. Howard Thurman – an Enduring Sense of the Divine

This past week, I’ve been reading about the early life of Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman. An influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader, Thurman was considered one of the three greatest African-American preachers in the early 20th-century. I find a kindred spirit in his enduring sense of the Divine.

From his journal, he writes:

dreamstimefree_boat and river (1)As a child I was accustomed to spending many hours alone in my rowboat, fishing along the river, when there was no sound save the lapping of the waves against the boat. There were times when it seemed as if the earth and the river and the sky and I were one beat of the same pulse. It was a time of watching and waiting for what I did not know—yet I always knew. There would come a moment when beyond the single pulse beat there was a sense of Presence which seemed always to speak to me. My response to the sense of Presence always had the quality of personal communion. There was no voice. There was no image. There was no vision. There was God. 

I leave you with a blessing for this day, by Howard Thurman

I will lift up mine eyes to life,
lest I miss the turning in the road.
I will lift up mine eyes to love,
that I may not close the door of my heart.
I will lift up mine eyes to God,
that I may meet the divine in all things.

 

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