I called this blog Thinking Out Loud because that describes something I love to do – working out, wrestling with, and sharing my thinking externally. Writing is a helpful tool for this as it forces you to wrangle your ideas into some kind of structure and shape, that you hope will help spark ideas, resonances, and responses in those who read them. There is also some trepidation in putting your thoughts into ‘print’, as they can then be perceived as fixed and final, unable to be further nuanced or developed.
Podcasting is another great way of thinking out loud. I have a range of podcasts I’m loving listening to, hearing other people ponder and wonder, dialogue and debate, inform and imagine as they speak their words into being. (I need to update my top listening list soon). There is probably a greater sense of immediacy and connection with listening rather than just reading, which makes me want to think more about the engagement of our different senses in this context.
Many of the messages I preach are available as podcasts, and a friend and I have been imagining what a podcast we hosted could look like.
Last week I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a fairly new podcast, hosted by Andy and Mike, two guys serving as worship pastors in churches that are part of the movement in which I lead and serve.
Our topic was Lament, and in particular how the Psalms of Lament teach us and lead us in this practice as part of our worship. I really enjoyed sitting down and talking through some of what I have learned through my studies and teaching, preaching and practicing, of the Psalms.
The downside of talking over writing is that you don’t necessarily say everything you want to, and I did wonder if our tone was sometimes more upbeat than the topic might suggest, simply due to the enjoyment of having the conversation itself.
But having dialogue partners means you can bounce off one another in real time, which is great for both questions and tangents. Hopefully it leads to key ideas being both clarified and applied in helpful ways. I really enjoyed our conversation and it probably could have gone for a lot longer.
In many ways, learning to lament is itself a practice of thinking out loud.
The Psalms invite us to enter into their experience and relationship with God, to experience their emotions and imagination and embodiment. I believe it is in enacting the Psalms, voicing their words as our own, that they form us.
The lament psalms in particular invite us to share our experiences of disorientation with God and with one another in the community of faith: asking questions in our doubt, weeping tears in our sadness, expressing anger at injustice, confessing our weaknesses and failings, standing in solidarity with the grief and brokenness of others. And doing all this in an attitude of prayer and worship.
I’m currently working on a few writing projects on the Psalms, but if you’d like to hear some of my thinking out loud specifically about Lament, you can listen to the podcast episode here: Captivate Podcast, Episode 8.