Years ago I helped with a prison ministry, I worked in that ministry for over 10 years. My first day I was shocked as I started walking through the last of three clanking gates! As I walked into the secure area I suddenly heard that voice telling me to never use Scriptures!
Here I was preparing to help with a Christian ministry and that voice was telling me not to use Scriptures! I was in my 70s at that time, having listened to Christian ministers give their interpretations of the Scriptures for many years and I was being told to never use them in my ministry! As I walked in to the chapel one of the older members of my group handed me a printout for that day’s lesson. It was Scriptures! I told him I could not use Scriptures, he almost shouted “who would tell you something like that?” I replied that it was my Creator, my Father in Heaven. He looked surprised, but never said another word to me all through that day.
In the room, as I looked around, I saw a man sitting back away from the class, the man looked as though he was troubled. I walked back to him and spent the rest of my class time talking to that troubled person. I spent the rest of my years in the prison ministry looking for and talking to the ones that I felt were hurting the most. When it was my turn to talk to the class I only used parables, never Scriptures.
I found it to be much more beneficial talking to the class about their hurts and problems than trying to convince them that my interpretations of several thousand years old handed down stories was more important to them than helping them with their current hurts! Besides the Scriptures were written in funny, hard to understand words, and sometimes difficult to listen to words for many! Words that many ministers of organized religions often use, but many who try to listen still find them difficult to understand.
In the ministry I found those with problems coming to me. They found me to be more interested in their problems than me trying to give them my interpretation of thousands of years old Scriptures! I had many years of experience with people not knowing how to relate to those hurting! And if you think about it, most of the Scriptures were telling us about people using things that had been created thousands of years before! Why don’t we give more credit to the Creator and people of today, not how people used or did things in the past! We can’t change the past, but that tomorrow is ours! Each new day brings new problems! I find it hard for me to solve my today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions. Don’t you?
Long ago I learned that I had great help in solving my today’s problems, but I had to learn how to listen to find that help and then find how to use that help I had been given! Like many others, I found myself looking for complicated answers for simple problems, but most of the help I got was “simple help” often so simple that I overlooked it!
I found that if I hurt, I should start working on that ONE hurt before I started hurting all over! If I ran headlong into a corner; I could push and push, but there was no way I could go any further! Nothing I could do would push that corner farther away from me! I had to learn to stop running! I had to learn that way did not work for me! I had to learn when to let go! I was being told that way did not work for me!
All the help I received was simple and easily understood but I had to learn that simple was sometimes very hard for me to accept! All of my life I had been taught to live in fear of what might happen! I could not remember ever being told “it might not happen!” It was very hard for me to do, but I was learning to reprogram all my thinking!
(Next post June 30, 2017)