“Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes All the Difference” is the title of the new inspirational book from Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho. THIS WEEK, you’ll discover why that’s vital for transforming our approach to life, shedding the anxiety that can paralyze and rediscovering joy.
You probably know Desmond Tutu already. He risked his life to protest the Apartheid regime, bring it to an end and then help heal many Apartheid-era wounds—a peaceful and prophetic role for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was named head of the Anglican church in South Africa. He currently heads The Elders, the group of wise global figures Nelson Mandela gathered several years ago to share advice about the world’s most pressing problems.
You may not know his daughter, the Rev. Mpho Tutu, a priest like her father and now co-author of her father’s latest book. You’ll learn more this week about the remarkable collaboration between father and daughter that led to this book, which offers nuts-and-bolts spiritual wisdom for regaining true joy in life.
This new book is unusual, because it began with a series of poems—Mpho says in our interview later this week. She and her father organized their lessons about spiritual life, first, by collaborating on these poems. They called them “prayer poems.” ReadTheSpirit suggests we think of them as contemporary Psalms. They are voiced as if the Divine—God’s voice—is calling out to each of us in daily life. From these contemporary Psalms, Mpho and Desmond shared stories with each other until they agreed on the text for each chapter of their book.
Today, as a starting point for our week, we’re sharing one of those starting points in the Tutus’ creation of this book, a contemporary Psalm on reconnecting with God’s voice.
“Hearing God’s Voice,”
Contemporary Psalm by Mpho and Desmond Tutu
from “Made for Goodness”
Child, do you not know my voice?
It bubbles up in happy laughter:
Listen to your children play.
It echoes in the song of nature:
Stop and listen.
I speak as fresh rain on parched ground,
I speak as the summer breeze that caresses the long grass,
I speak as the gurgle of the river over the rocks,
I speak in the warm smiles of welcome,
I speak in the tender touch of comfort,
I speak in tears of joy,
I speak as unquenchable hope.
I speak in the voices of those who challenge you;
Mine are the words of the loving rebuke.
I speak in the voices of those who take pride in you;
Mine are the words of honest praise.
My voice is the happy hum in your heart
When you know you have done what is right.
My voice is the churning of your spirit
When temptation seems ready to overwhelm you.
My voice whispers “courage”
When the path you must choose seems too long or too hard.
It is I who say, “Be still a while,”
When the frenzy wants to overtake you.
Have you not heard me yet?
I am very near.
I breathe in your breath,
I pray in your prayer,
Have you not heard me met?
Stop and see.
That is me.
Care to read more about “Made for Goodness”?
- A Sample Psalm from “Made for Goodness”
- Mpho Tutu talks about Nelson Mandela and “Invictus”
- Mpho Tutu’s story of an unexpected connection with the Dalai Lama’s translator
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(Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)