Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Human Soul is the Arena Where the Destinies of People are Determined

Seed & leaf, on snow in my backyard

I'm holding in my hands the book Martin Luther King is said to have often carried with him: Jesus and the Disinherited, by Howard Thurman. Thurman is the great African-American mystic-scholar who writes out of a spiritual depth that can only be gained from years and years of meditation and prayer in the presence of God.

Thurman writes these words about Jesus.

Jesus' "message focused on the urgency of a radical change in the inner attitude of the people. He recognized fully that out of the heart are the issues of life and that no external force, however great and overwhelming, can at last long destroy a people if it does not first win the victory of the spirit against them. 'To revile because one has been reviled - this is the real evil because it is the evil of the soul itself.' Jesus saw this with almighty clarity. Again and again he came back to the inner life of the individual. With increasing insight and startling accuracy he placed his finger on the "inward center" as the crucial arena where the issues would determine the destiny of his people." (Jesus and the Disinherited, 21, emphasis mine)

  • Jesus wants, in the first place, to capture the hearts of people. 
  • Out of the heart come the issues of life.
  • First be cured in your own soul.
  • The human soul is the arena where the destinies of people are determined.
To focus on changing external circumstances without gaining victory in the hearts of people is like putting duct tape over a bullet wound. Physician - heal thyself. Or rather: Physician - first be yourself healed.

What is needed today is more deep people, not people with more information, with most of it trivial. The Real Jesus wants to get at your soul and start plowing so as to plant seeds that will take deep root.

The tree of your life finds its destiny in the seeds that take root in the soil of your soul.