Featured Book for December 2023
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”–Howard Thurman
Known as the godfather of the civil rights movement, Howard Thurman served as a spiritual adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders and activists in the 1960s. Thurman championed silence, contemplation, common unity, and nonviolence as powerful dimensions of social change. But Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown didn’t learn about him during her years of spiritual-direction training. Only when a friend heard of her longing to encounter the work of Black contemplatives did she finally learn about Thurman, his mystical spirituality, and his liberating ethic.
In What Makes You Come Alive, Brown beckons readers into their own apprenticeship with Thurman. Brown walks with us through Thurman’s inimitable life and commitments as he summons us into centering down, encountering the natural world, paying attention to sacred synchronicity, unleashing inner authority, and recognizing the genius of the religion of Jesus. We learn from Thurman’s resilience in the psychologically terrorizing climate of the Jim Crow South, his encounters with Quakers and with Mahatma Gandhi, and his sense of being guided by the Spirit. Each chapter illuminates an aspect of Thurman’s work and includes reflection questions and spiritual practices.
Decades after their deaths, sages like Howard Thurman offer spiritual kinship and guidance for our contemporary life. Thurman’s spirituality enlivened an entire movement, and it can awaken us to intimacy with God and to authentic action today.