Janaury 31, 2013

The Hard-Hitting Stuff

by Terry Rush

I like life. I like it a lot. It is very good to me. My Memphis roots are treasured. Life in Jesus is as rich as it can get. Yes, I enjoy speaking before the crowds; whether small or large. And, I get a rush out of inspiring those who feel they are no goodÖ for each is surely extremely important. Mingled into all of these likeables is the hard-hitting stuff. I speak of the pain and anguish which overflows at times out of normalcy's banks. I joke that I work one day a week (simply to beat the local jokesters at their comments about me). Yet, most know ministering in the hard-hitting stuff is reallyÖ hard-hitting. My world includes dealing with the homeless, the hurting, and the dying. It is as constant as my phone ringing. We have three ex-cons at our church and are proud of every one of them. Another member in her 50's is to be sentenced next month. Lines form at our church door twice a week for food. Grown men weep at times as they are aging, their jobs have been eliminated, and they don't possess the required skills for new work. Mommas and daddies cry in gratitude for bags of groceries that get them through the week. And do you know what I see developing in all of this? A church that looks like Jesus. For so long I preached sermons of theory. To see a church act out compassion is both meaningful and powerful. I'm their preacherÖ and I'm the farthest behind. The hard-hitting stuff; it isn't handled by ministerial staff per se. It is best seen as community people in action assisting community people in need. The truth isÖ.we all take our turns at the hard-hitting stuff. We serve others until we find it is our turn; then others serve us. And when it hitsÖwe really need one another.

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