these are just a few of my awakenings...
awakening: I was as the Scots say “a wee bairn”, just the age of 19 and trying to preach. I taught the auditorium class - it was the first adult class I’d ever even been in and I was the teacher. I’d been told to go around the class each week with the assigned workbook, starting with Brother Jud (names changed). They would read the question, answer it and give the reference. After a couple of months I decided to do it a little different as the teacher and started on the other side of the small auditorium. When I came Brother Jud he said, “I’ll pass son.” That was his kind way of addressing me. His wife called me that afternoon and told me - “You embarrassed brother Jud today.” I was immediately ripped in two. I did not know that this very successful, very humble, very spiritual brother could neither read nor write. As she revealed this to me I realized - this will be a part of my life - I will sometimes hurt people without even knowing it and with no intention or desire to do so. Awakenings.
awakening: I’d grown up by now. I was the ripe old age of 22. Dewayne and I had gone visiting. We had gotten into a discussion, nothing big, but had seen it differently. It was not vicious or harsh in any way. After it was done he said: “Well, I decided a long time ago I don’t listen to anything anyone under age 40 says...” Wow. My immediate internal reaction was, “Well, I guess you don’t listen to anything Jesus said then” - thankfully that was once I didn’t say what I felt (Side note: I wanted to call Dewayne when I turned 40, I had so much I wanted to tell him :)). But I remember realizing - there are those who will not hear me not because they don’t like me or I’m not speaking truth - but just because they chose not to. He was just the first of many. Awakenings
awakening: I grew up loving Gospel Meetings - Roger Rush, Eddie Cloer, Jerry Jones, Jimmy Allen, Jerry Humphries, VP Black, Charles Coil were just some of the guys who’s powerful, convicting preaching I heard. Then came the first meeting where I was the “local preacher”. I invited and secured one of my favorites. After the second night, one of the “brothers” who I knew didn’t like my style said loud enough to make sure I heard him “Now, brother ____, that’s the kind of preaching we need around here.” It cut to the quick. Worst of all was, I agreed with him. After all, I’d invited this guy cause I loved how he preached. But the statement, put out there where I could hear it, said just for me, made me feel less. No longer did I love and look forward to gospel meetings, I now dreaded them. I vowed to never let that happen on my watch, instead I would try to remember the local guy when preached in a meeting. I will just pass through with a bag full of my best sermons - he will be left behind to minister, teach and care for these people. Awakenings.
Let us vow to strive to love as dear brethren.