I would like to share a brief encounter at my ‘preaching place.’ As some of you who have read my ‘About‘ remarks know I am a Christian pastor and preacher by profession. I don’t endeavor to either hide or promote that on this blog. I follow and enjoy posts on many blogs from varied backgrounds and beliefs. Some are spiritual and inspiration in nature, others I enjoy purely for the poetry and writing. I come to this quiet place that I’ve created in my thoughts and now in cyberspace for reflection, personal consolation, and sometimes purely for escape from the audacity of other people in my local world.
Back to my recent encounter. A lady who deemed herself quite spiritual came-a-visiting due to an invitation by regular attendees at our church. She returned for a late afternoon worship time. After only having heard me speak twice for a combined total of about 60 minutes she felt a need to speak with me immediately at the conclusion of late afternoon worship. Her opening statement to me was that she felt a need to talk with me because I “left too much out!”
This was a new one on me. In my thirty plus years of preaching I have been accused many times of “putting too much in” and being long winded at times. This was the first time ever I have been criticized for ‘leaving too much out.” The dear lady then asked if she could order me an expositor’s edition bible from her favorite tele-evangelist. Of course I politely told her I would gladly accept such a gift.
Instead of feeling anger at this dear lady’s critique of my preaching I was most amused. Her criticism of my “leaving too much out” was offered concerning a message I had titled “The Essence of the Gospel” with the closing point being “The Simplicity of the Gospel of Christ.” Dictionaries define ‘Essence‘ as ‘the most important or defining characteristic of something.’ Simplicity is defined as ‘the state or instance of being simple or free from complexities and intricacies.’ Maybe I should offer to buy my new found friend a dictionary or maybe a hearing aid.
-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013