Righting Relationships

“One, through the Spirit, has the gift of wise speech, while another, by the power of the same Spirit, can put the deepest knowledge into words.” I Corinthians 12:8 REB

Howard Thurman is one of those people who could put profound thoughts into words. I discovered his writing during my seminary years and have often turned back to them. Recently, I’ve been reading his book “The Centering Moment.” His meditations have been a good starting place when I’ve been looking for a devotion to share. Thurman’s reflection on relationships spoke to me, as I was thinking about a recent conversation.  

Thurman  writes, “Always we live under some necessity for righting our relations with our fellows. We turn to the scrutiny of the light in our hearts to see wherein we have lived without harmony, without order, and without an increasing measure of tranquillity and peace. We look at the misunderstandings which we have experienced during the week that has passed. Those moments when our words conveyed what was not our intent, and the result of their movement into the life of another, brought chaos and pain and misery. Those moments when with clear-eyed intent we have gone out of our path to do the vengeful thing, to speak or to act with hardness of heart. We remember all of our reactions to the ill will in the world, to the bitterness that has loomed large between peoples and states, between countries, and between nations. All of these thing weigh heavily upon our minds and spirits as we seek somehow within ourselves to be whole and clean and purified.”

Thurman ends his meditation with this prayer, “We come to Thee, seeking in quiet ways the courage to ease the tensions and break the discord in which, in one way or another , our lives are surrounded. We offer to Thee the treasures of our life, to the end that we may be so touched by Thy spirit and sensitized by Thy love and Thy tenderness that we may find our way in peace and in strength and in confidence. This is what we seek, even as we worship thee, O God, in spirit and in truth.” Howard Thurman, The Centering Moment, Pg 35 Friends United Press 1969