Guest post: Does a pastor have soft hands?
Copyright 2017 by Bill Hurt
(Dr. Bill Hurt is the senior pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Columbus, Mississippi. When he posted the following thoughts on Facebook, I found them so profound that I asked his permission to share it as a guest blog post, and he graciously agreed.)
The other day I shook hands with an individual and they commented on the softness of mine. They went on to say: “I bet those hands have never seen a hard day’s work.”
In some ways that statement is true, and it got me thinking about these hands of mine. They’ve never overhauled an engine on a car. Never plowed a field. Never hoed a garden. Never worked on an assembly line.
There are a lot of hard working activities these hands have never done, but they have taken a lifeless baby from the arms of a broken mother. They have taken a gun out of the hand of a man about to end his life. They have taken a bottle from an individual who was drinking their life away. They have raised and lowered children and adults in the baptismal waters. They have written numerous sermons. They have joined couples in matrimony. They have built churches on foreign soil. They have held the hands of the dying. They have received strangers into the Kingdom. They have dedicated and blessed countless babies. They have wiped the tears from grieving parents, spouses, and children. They have shaken the hands of the upper, middle, and lower class of society. They have held the hands of those who have prayed to receive Christ. They have removed debris from the rubble of destroyed churches. They have welcomed the homeless and offered them a place to sleep. I’m no different from any other preacher out there. Our hands are used quite frequently to serve. The endurance and strength to do these things come from another set of hands which happen to be nail pierced. After all, we’re called to be his hands and feet. I guess these hands are soft, but they are forgiven and ready for service.
People think of love at Valentine’s. However, some of us fail to communicate.
A cake decorator in New Zealand was asked to include the reference to a Bible verse on the couple’s wedding cake. They requested 1 John 4:18 because it states, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.” Unfortunately, the cake decorator wasn’t a Bible scholar so the cake ended up with a reference to John’s gospel instead of his epistle. In beautiful print was “John 4:18.” Had the decorator taken time to look up the verse this error would have been detected before the wedding. “You have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.”
I heard about a man who was feeling bad that he had not been romantic. So he decided to show up at his door with a coat and tie and give his wife flowers. He rang the doorbell, and when she answered, there he was in all his glory, as he handed her a dozen roses. To his surprise, she sat down in the doorway and just cried.
“What’s wrong, honey?” he asked.
She replied, “This has been a terrible day. Rachel came home from school sick, Daniel broke a window with his baseball, the microwave won’t work, and now you come home drunk!”
Even though our attempts are communicating love can sometimes be misunderstood, we should still make every effort to express our love. The Bible has an entire book, Song of Solomon, that is dedicated to the celebration of romance between a husband and wife. I know a fellow who often reads verses from the Song of Solomon to his wife. Not a bad idea. Just make sure that you read the right verse. Song of Solomon 4:9 would work: “You have captured my heart with one glance of your eyes.” But you don’t want to read to her from Song of Solomon 7:4: “Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon looking toward Damascus.”
So if you’re thinking about love this Valentine’s, make sure you say it clearly.