The Rev. Dr. Ozzie Smith offers his response to this week's Day1 sermon by the Rev. Dr. Ken Carter.
Amen Dr. Carter! This message is industrial strength pastoral reality! This is the stuff that does not come in textbooks or lectures, but life. Marvin for me represents each lesson I've learned as a pastor--it is no secret what God can do! I have learned that healing happens in ways beyond my neat and tidy categories. Marvin was a wounded healer that caused other wounds to be healed in that small church and his own family. That small church became a big church through healing and a random visit by a wounded man.
I thank God that we don't get to orchestrate healing--God does. Dr. Carter became a willing vessel of healing for Marvin--his visit to Marvin's house was a powerful example of new member orientation--God handled the details. I appreciate Dr. Carter's transparency in this story--prayer truly changes things.
Several years ago a commercial aired with the phrase, "You can learn a lot from a dummy." Although the commercial was about the importance of wearing seat-belts, the word "dummy" yet rings. It seems that we write-off so many as "dummies" or "lost" based on our narrow perceptions and biases. Perhaps this is why Jesus got on the nerves of the Pharisees of his day. The arms of Christ were way too wide for them and even us to fathom. Yet, Samaritan and Syro-Phoenician women found welcome in Jesus. Even lepers felt welcome to approach and confess to his power to heal. They were healed of how they saw themselves perceived by others. Jesus has a way of removing the make-up of culture and times.
Dr. Carter has given us a course on Real Pastoring 101. I thank God for the Marvins in life who have shown me that God's love always exceeds any eloquent notions I might have. Thanks Dr. Carter for a life-inspiring down-to-earth message on the blessing of God's infinite ways of healing. Your obedience to God's call allowed Marvin to realize what Howard Thurman called the irreducible essence of what it means to be human. Thanks Day1 for the lift!
UPDATE from the Rev. Dr. Billy Cox:
Dr. Carter presented a provocative and inspiring sermon. He points out that to find acceptance and genuine support in the midst of suffering, is not only a comfort to the one who suffers, but is and should be the nature and mission of a genuine Christian community.