July 26th Meditation
Rev. Howard Thurman (1899-1981) was a theologian, a contemplative and deep person of faith. He co-founded the first interracially pastored church in the United States. He was an advisor and a confidant of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. He was a religious man who lived, served and preached during one of the most divided times in our history.
We are also living during a very divisive time. I find the words of Howard Thurman very mentoring and advising. Often, I find myself reaching back for scholars and writers from previous decades to glean their wisdom as guides for our current experience. Thurman’s following words are a call for compassion and prophecy of unity. Our world cannot survive when we fall into the binary trap of “us and them”. Leading with compassion was the response of Christ and continues to be our guide. Leading with compassion is a light to brighten our path and widen the boundaries we place upon one another.
“God is making room in my heart for compassion: the awareness that where my life begins is where your life begins; the awareness that the sensitiveness to your needs cannot be separated from the sensitiveness to my needs; the awareness that the joys of my heart are never mine alone – nor are my sorrows. I struggle against the work of God in my heart; I want to be let alone. I want my boundaries to remain fixed, that I may be at rest. But even now, as I turn to Him in the quietness, His work in me is ever the same. God is at work enlarging the boundaries of my heart.”
-from “Meditations of the Heart” by Howard Thurman, 1953.
Our growth is the same. We cannot be people of God and be separate. We cannot share the love of Christ with closed hearts. May God be at work enlarging the boundaries of our hearts.