IS A FAITH THAT IS WILLING TO WAIT...WITHOUT IDOLS."
Walter Brueggemann -
above photograph was taken in my kitchen office on Union Mills Road
on the day that I opened the package of sketches from David Goatley.
There were two drawings of Walter Brueggemann in the sketches that David
had sent. Both were rendered during the afternoon we spent with Walter
Brueggemann at Columbia Theological Seminary in the winter of 1997.
Next to the typewriter you can see one of these sketches. The other
is printed at the bottom of this page.
those memorable winter hours that we spent with Professor Brueggemann
he told us, among many other things, of Martin Luther King's "kitchen
experience." With his orator's ability to emphasize certain words,
he said of Dr. King, "he had a kitchen experience!" And repeated
this line as he told us the story of a man broken in spirit.
"King couldn't go on," he said, and his own shoulders seemed
to slump as if he could feel the burden that King carried. "He
had come to the breaking point. The weight of what he was attempting
to do had become too great for his heart and body to support any longer.
And then, on the day when he wanted to give it all up, he had his kitchen
Here Brueggemann paused, waiting for us to catch some sense of his own
anticipation of the story. Then he continued, his eyes shining, "King
went into the kitchen. I suppose he was making himself a cup of coffee.
And there he was, alone, removed from the public eye, and he heard the
word of the Lord speaking to him. He heard the voice with his own ears
and it said to him, 'Go on Martin! Go on!'"
on Martin! Go on!"
Walter Brueggemann, from David's sketch
made during our
conversation with him in the winter of 1997. Afterwards,
David and I often commented on Dr. Brueggemann's tremen
dous articulation of the Old and New Testament truths.
This story fits quite perfectly with my readings of Professor Brueggemann,
the proper focus of a writer and expositor who has always amplified
the "crossroads" aspect found in the Old and New Testament
writings: humankind confronted by the many great questions and crucibles
of existence, coming to terms with a divine challenge or mandate. In
these fiery moments of decision, great truths are cast.
For further reading, I highly suggest Brueggemann's "Prophetic
Imagination." It's the first of his books that I had the joy of
reading, and it remains one of the most indelible.
- L. CANTELON