Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Valuable Lesson

A classic line from the movie "Forrest Gump" states, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." As a Christian Counselor that is a great line and is often true. Recently I was meditating on the idea of the Lord's presence with us. In fact, God's presence within us is to be so apparent that others will see it. A verse from Matthew 5:16 states, "In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." I received a referral from a pastoral colleague of mine and after talking to the gentleman on the phone, I became concerned about meeting with him. Everything inside of me was saying, "Make up an excuse not to meet with this man" but I scheduled the appointment anyway. The gentleman described himself as a "redneck" which my pastoral colleague confirmed. As a black woman, terms like that can cause great anxiety. He also had committed a murder but it was deemed self defense and no time was served. I asked my pastoral colleague to accompany the client to the session for safety purposes which he did willingly. I had it all planned out in my head as to what I was going to do. I would politely meet with him, then refer him to someone else. However, just before the meeting, being a "good pastor" and Christian, I asked the Lord to give me the eyes to see this man as Christ would and the heart to have compassion. God is faithful and during the session I saw a very wounded person whose anger was driven by a difficult past. Yes, he was very much the "redneck" he described but there was something more than what physical eyes might see. Suddenly, my plans for referring him to someone else dissolved. At the end  of the session, the client stated that he "liked me" and I reminded him of his former therapist who he loved very much. I admitted to him some of my initial concerns about our meeting and he asked me not to judge him because he was from the south. We ended the session holding hands and praying together. God taught me a valuable lesson that day. When we let our light shine before others and approach them with the compassion of Christ, they will see the Lord and God will get the glory. I believe if Christ were here on earth, He would be hanging out with this client a lot. Don't forget who you are in Christ and the call of the gospel to bring the good news, hope, and healing to the broken hearted.
Pastor Sheree

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