Judgmental? That’s not a word that we would typically use to describe our “neighbor” Mister (Fred) Rogers, but he described himself that way once and according to author Amy Hollingsworth, only once.
While in seminary Fred would visit different churches to see how different ministers preached. He and some friends decided to visit the church of a well-known and well-respected preacher. They soon discovered that he was away and there was a guest speaker. Fred, not impressed sat through the sermon making mental notes of all the rules the guest speaker was breaking. When the sermon was over he turned to his friend to commiserate and she was weeping. She told him that that man had said exactly what she needed to hear. It was then he realized that the Holy Spirit was able to transform that message into what his friend needed to hear – no matter how bad he thought the message was.
This experience shaped the rest of his life. It changed his Neighborhood as well. He said, “I’m so convinced that the space between the television set and the viewer is holy ground. And what we put on the television can, by the Holy Spirit, be translated into what this person needs to hear and see, and without that translation it’s all dross as far as I’m concerned.” Go Mister Rogers!
The lesson he learned from that guest speaker was: What is offered in faith by one person can be translated by the Holy Spirit into what the other person needs to hear and see. The space between them is holy ground, and the Holy Spirit uses that space in ways that not only translate, but transcend. (From The Simple Faith of MISTER ROGERS http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?item_no=452295&netp_id=356977&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW&view=details, by Amy Hollingsworth, page 35)
It made me think of blogging. What God prompts us to write from day to day, however spiritual or comical can be just what someone needs at that moment. The Holy Spirit can make just the right words or phrases minister to that person at their point of need. It also made me think of our critical nature. We are so quick to judge the things we see and hear, when we really have no clue how that very thing could be ministering to someone else.
During a meeting for a retreat weekend the leader brought out a little chick, you know the kind that peep when you put your fingers on the contacts? Well, she brought this thing out and did an exercise with the group and I couldn't stop bawling. It ministered to me deeply and God spoke loudly “to me” through that exercise. I heard and saw just what I needed at that moment.
You just never know what is going to minister to someone. Be careful what you say about others, especially your pastors. If people are following the leading of the Holy Spirit they are ministering to someone, it just might not be you. Or it could be you, just not at that moment.
Has something unusual ministered to you? I'd love to hear about it. If you don't want to comment here email me.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32