Allowing My Brain to Breathe

Though I am tardy to the blogosphere, I am tugged by an immense excitement to have finally arrived on the scene. In some ways, increasing my spiritual and intellectual footprint is an obligation issued from the center of my being. For some time, I have groped a virtual space where I intend to give my brain room to breathe. As I gasped from air, life directed me to my desk. I have learned that mental asphyxia is possible in a culture pioneered by celebrated anti-intellectuals, religious thespians and moral cowards. The best parts of our lives are suffocated by chronic consumerism, spiritual kindergartens, parasitic “leaders” and imperial logic. Our lives demand spaces for our hearts and heads to breathe. These lungs exhale breath to the work of our hands. What use is there for invigorated hearts and informed heads if they are connected to impotent hands? Perhaps that gives us a picture of wholeness. A sustainable, holistic life blossoms from the soil watered by the transformative relationship of head, heart and hand; the merger of learning, loving and leading.

With #PropheticPensées I want to vent hope and beauty into the world through the written word. Concurring with Howard Thurman, an American mystic often overlooked by Christian communions, “my craft is the spoken word.” However, writing is a spiritual practice—a way for me to journey deep within myself to encounter God anew. This is a space for faith—a sanctuary for a progressive voice of faith. To borrow from Paul Tillich, faith is not something one possess. Faith possesses us. We are grasped by God; confiscated by Love. We are grounded in the very being of what is Ultimate. Our being in rooted in Being Itself—God.

For the sake of contextual disclosure, I am a public theologian and pastoral liberationist. From these lenses, I interpret and work in the world. Concerning the name of this blog, the adjective “Prophetic” signals my unabashed commitment to Justice as the vision of God for the world. Equally influenced by the Hebrew Prophetic Tradition, I mine my prophetic impulse from Jesus—a revolutionary from first century Palestine. Walter Brueggemann proffers, “The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception [which is an] alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture…”[1] This is what illuminates my prophetic sensibilities. While Prophetic Pensées will inspire and inform, it should be seen as an evolving blue print for a new moral way—a way of creative transformation for self and society. We must live faith. It is too flat to see faith as the absence of doubt. Faith is the romance between doubt and courage, a dance between sight and imagination.  With this, we cast vision for the world and co-create the world painted on the canvases of our hearts. To this end, my task is prophetic.

I harvest the noun of this blog from the work of 17th century French mathematician and philosopher Paschal, which posthumously gained the name Pensées. Pascal’s Pensées reads as an apology of the Christian Faith, most broadly known for the concept of “Paschal’s Wager.” Literally translated “thoughts,” Pensées’ philosophical and theological fragments read as the stream of consciousness of a person wrestling with the intersecting mysteries of life and faith. That is the structure of my task here. Essentially, our weekly encounters may read as a string of prophetic fragments braided together by broaching existential questions, theological curiosities and human becoming. I am cautious not to purport stubborn answers, but to gesture toward meaningful possibilities about our world and ourselves. I am thinking out loud; expanding my digital voice through fragmented musings to real questions, concerns and episodes in human not-so-civilization.

Welcome to Prophetic Pensées.  Let your mind breathe and celebrate your aliveness today.

WDF3/ #PropheticPensees

[1] Walter Brueggeman. The Prophetic Imagination. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1982) 12.