There is an area of my work I sense such a difference from my earlier days. I feel a strong sense of a shepherd's heart.
The difference? I once was a performer delivering mightily the Word of God with no reserves of who didn't like it or what might cause offense. It was the Word and tough if they couldn't take it. But things are different today; much different. Ashamedly, one of the factors is I care.
I really care for all those taking the time to listen. I know they have been beaten---perhaps at times by one another. I know they have stresses at work, at home, and at the bank. I can't imagine the rigors they endure nor the deep pits they tearfully wish to escape.
So now when I step to the mic I am so much more aware of the flock's absolute frailty. I'm no longer out to win a battle or to impress the self-assumed stronger brother. I am out to touch each lamb God will allow by the healing ointment of His most hopeful Word.
It seems that most likely I should be stronger in my delivery. I wish I were. Yet, somehow I pray God will bless this congregation albeit withstanding my weakness. This is not the greatest of churches; I wouldn't know which He believes would be labeled as such. But it is a wonderful, happy, sensitive, developing congregation of which I dearly.....dearly love.
I'm sure the gospel trigger needs to be pulled better and more often. Without regret, I am grateful the tender Father would train me in caring rather than verbally beating. I did the later for too many years and did a sorry job at that. We have light years to go; I'm included in the we.
While it is not my goal to build a facade of a feel good church which would deny His presence and His call, it is my great delight to see an assembly of hurting ones hear about the anointing of God.....and leave feeling good about it.
There is a Shepherd in me. I'm still in kindergarten learning. But....that Shepherd in me is always Jesus.