Last summer I was having difficulty attending my church regularly. I felt lost and was longing to be part of a church family. I wanted to be in a church where I was spiritually charged when I walked in the door. I found that church and found some incredible ministers within that church.
There is one particular pastor I am very fond of his teaching style (although each minister we have is brilliant) and he is Pastor Blake. He is so kind and vulnerable. He will share anything about himself in his sermons. The first time I saw him preach, he was having difficulties getting the screen on stage to work. He clicked and clicked buttons and even dropped the remote for the screen onto the stage floor. The technical team had to come on stage and switch out remotes for him and turn the screen on. Blake just took it in stride and continued with his sermon.
Our ministers rotate giving the sermons so I only get to hear Blake every few months. It is always a highlight when he comes because he is so entertaining and easy to understand his message. I also should mention that he wanders during his services and gets off topic. I can so relate! Blake always returns to the sermon but when he wanders he talks about thing like Reese’s pieces candy or alligators leaving the congregation laughing. He does tie the random comments into the sermon and I think that’s what keeps me engaged.
About a month ago I went to church and was surprised to see Blake was giving the sermon that day. He was talking about God’s calling (www.chaseoaks.org/sermon/listen-gods-calling/). This was a very timely and appropriate sermon pertaining to my life. He spoke about how we all have a calling from God and a purpose to be on this earth. There is even one part of the sermon he says “When God calls,” someone’s cell phone rang. An awesome nudge from God that was unexpected to Blake.
I listened intently as he talked about his charity (https://gifted.global/) and going to the Dominican Republic. He was going to build beds for doctors that were tending to the medical needs of the city’s residents. They needed a substantial amount of beds built in a very short amount of time. The next thing he showed us on the screen was a picture of the beds he completed for the doctors. They weren’t just beds to sleep on, he had added charging ports for the doctors and shelves along the sides. He superseded his requirement. You could see how pleased he was.
At the end of the sermon it is always announced that anyone that needs prayers they may go to the bottom of the stage and the minister that gave the sermon will say a prayer with you. I decided I wanted to go to the bottom of the stage to meet Blake.
The line for prayers was about 8 people deep ahead of me. I was the last one in line. I heard Blake ask each person in line what their prayer request was and hear him bless and pray for each of them.
It was now my turn to see Blake. He looked at me and said, “What do you need prayers for today?” I looked at him and said, “I don’t need any prayers today. I want to give you this gratitude heart. You have touched my life and fully opened my heart to God. Please take this heart and put it somewhere you will see it and know you are touching many peoples’ lives.” He looked at me and gave me the warmest hug which I did not expect. He then said, “You have no idea how much I needed that.” I didn’t realize at the time but part of his sermon was about how he hears from God through His people. I continued to tell him that because he seems so real and honest I was able to relate to him and hear God’s word. As I told him this, I felt a tear run down my cheek. It was my first true tear of gratitude. I guess God allowed Blake to received what he needed at that moment and I received what I needed in those quick few minutes.
God placed Pastor Blake in my life to teach to me in a way I can hear and understand. He touches so many lives without even knowing it. I had no idea that Blake would need to hear the words I said to him on that particular day at that particular time. I never considered that although I liked Blake because he seemed so human that he might possibly just be human and being human he would need prayers too.
When I tell this story to others they say it gives them chills or they may get a tear in their eye. If someone touches your life please tell them. You have no idea what it may mean to them. Tell someone from you heart how important they are or that they are making a difference. You will feel the effects of your kindness many times over. If we spread enough love our world will be a much better place.
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson