With her permission, I want to share an email with you. This woman recently attended a service where Jeff and I ministered.
My heart was heavy today as I entered my church. It was a cold and bitter day outside and it almost reflected exactly what was going on in my own heart. I was surprised to see that we were having a guest ministry share this morning. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was disappointed that my pastor wasn’t speaking today. My husband and I had a terrible fight just as I walked out the door. He’s not a Christian, and I go through this almost every time I make any concerted effort to do anything spiritual. It’s quite a battle. He especially hates when I give money or tithe and that makes me so sad.
You wouldn’t know this, because I attempt to smile a lot and cover up my despair on the inside. We’ve also been slammed with financial hardship and that makes it doubly hard to live in that house. My husband’s uncle passed away recently and he was a good Christian, but all my husband could say was, “Foolish man - gave most of his money to that church. Just think how he could have taken care of all of us with that!?” Of course I think, “Foolish man (my husband), if you took care of your wife it wouldn’t be so hard”. I work two jobs and my husband is on disability.
I’m sorry to drag you through all this, but it will make sense to you in a moment: What happened today during the worship time while you were singing, was such healing for me. I “heard” my Heavenly Father say to me, “Daughter, I know you. I love you. I am your Source. Please love your husband unconditionally and walk tall and stand firm. I got this. Do not suffer despair anymore. I will deal with your husband and he will turn around, but you must love him first. Do not be his slave, but love him. You are not to blame. You have been faithful.” So instead of hearing my pastor this morning, God brought you. And even through the laughter and tears I can say, thank you for all you shared to help me open my eyes, ears and heart. Bless you for coming…
In Jesus’ name, Jane
Now, here’s the technical details of that worship service:
1. No song was sung about marriage.
2. There was no mentioning of tithing or giving.
3. No instructional teaching or preaching on “wives, love your husbands…”.
4. No sharing about depression or despair and how God can overcome.
5. I didn’t sing a single irrelevant song, just to tickle ears or make people like me.
6. I never once mentioned the “how to” or even give a five point sermon on relationships.
7. But what we did do was laugh, sing and worship.
We worshiped so much that the atmosphere was filled with a calming presence of the Holy Spirit…just singing and worshiping and letting God heal, transform, enlighten, speak, encourage, convict, and inspire! And best of all, God did all the things that I could never do. This is how lives are changed - not by our own methods, trends, statement songs or pragmatic routines - but by being in His Holy presence. If you’re a worship leader, a singer or musician - create the space, the capacity, the room that will allow the Holy Spirit to breathe.
This article also posted on Southern Gospel Times.