Our church has been going through the book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. This message from last Sunday gets at tough questions. I am left asking, especially in this highly charged election season, how do I keep seeing the divine in others, especially those with whom I disagree?
My next book is a re-read from earlier this year: Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. It is part of the Renovare Book Club and so I am working my way back through the book. A PBS documentary on the life of Howard Thurman:
David French has a similar journey to mine in his geography. I find this the more I read him. He lived for decades in the Northeast as a conservative Republican. I lived in Minnesota in a very liberal metro area as a conservative white pastor. He moved to TN. I moved to Alabama. He found he was still “homeless” in a way. I have discovered that as well.
There are times when written prayers aid us in our personal prayers. It’s the great use of the Psalms.
I have found the Anglican Book of Common Prayer helpful in this aid and especially the Great Litany in times like these where my thoughts are scattered. Each part of the Great Litany becomes a starting point of meditation and centering prayer for me.
In 2008, I will easily confess I did not vote for Barack Obama. Yet, when he was elected, there was something that settled well in my spirit. Not about policy, but about symbols. It didn’t solve anything deep… but WOW! We had finally elected a black man to be president. In that moment, I truly felt gratitude.