Howard Thurman and Encountering God

by | Mar 23, 2022

In his book, Meditations of the Heart, Howard Thurman, the modern-day spiritualist, and mystic, says “Every moment is a divine encounter, every facet is an exposure to the boundless energies by which life is sustained and our spirits are made whole.” When we consider how we want to create, deepen, and grow our relationship with God remembering that every encounter is a divine encounter, we are reassured of God’s love for us.   Prayer is one way to experience a divine encounter with God. We remember that it is in the silence that we encounter God.  Thurman says, “There is a great virtue in the cultivation of silence, and strength to be found in using it as a door to God.”  In this silence we can enter through this door and start or continue our conversations with God, deepening that relationship.

Imagine the door you move through as you encounter the Divine? What is on the other side?  Centering prayer, Lectio Divina, the Psalms, rituals, sacraments, scripture, other formal prayers known to you, music, nature, poetry? What do you imagine an encounter with the Divine would be like? Noticing the presence of the Divine, what do you notice within your heart?  Notice the depth of your desire to rest in God’s arms, to be welcomed into this time together without judgment or expectation, to simply be in the silence, in the presence of God.

Thurman invites us to use this time of silence and prayer for “self-examination” (the Examen), “thanksgiving” and “humility…Let us experience them in our quiet time in the presence of God.”

We have all been experiencing a lot of noise and chaos, fear, and anxiety for the past two years with Covid and now with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  We have been doing our best to live a different normal we did not choose.  Hard as we try, the trauma we witness and the worry we feel, the video of people dying and the guns and egos are all distractions that expose the areas in our life we are called to explore, and hard as we try, we find that the challenges we face and have been exposed to are front and center in our daily lives. We can choose to allow for the transformation of our relationship with God. We do this when we invite and embrace the silence knowing we are heeding the call to go deeper in that relationship with God. The God who we cry out to for consolation in these distressing times, the God we ask to help us understand the pain and suffering we witness, and the God we choose to encounter in the quiet so we can listen.

Picture your door where God patiently awaits your presence, to provide a listening heart, a heart of love and acceptance, a voice that reminds you with every encounter, “I am so glad you came, what is on your mind and heart today?  Here come closer to me while we pause in stillness to be in our time together.”  Peace and Blessings as you enter your silence and time with God. Open that door with confidence, love and grace-filled anticipation.