Wednesday, April 7, 2010

overcome by kindness...

Few were more passionate for reform than Samuel J. May. As a result, he often elicited passionate opposition.  The following two anecdotes, however, show that as a minister he knew that he (and his position) was not the point.  What would you consider the essential qualities of a great minister or church worker?  More tomorrow...

"A HARD MAN TO HATE.

An active politician, who frequently denounced Mr. May in the bitterest terms, and expected to be regarded by him as an enemy, was so overcome by Mr. May's kindness that he said in his despair of effecting a quarrel: "I have got to give up trying to hate that man. You know I have a sick child, but I went to a meeting to abuse the Abolitionists. Soon after I heard Mr. May's voice calling my name in the street. Turning round, I found his face full of neighborly tenderness ; and all he said was, ' I do hope your little boy is better.'"

CONSIDERATE COURTESY.

Mr. May once had a parishioner who was so offended with him on account of his preaching in behalf of reforms, that he would not listen to his pastor, but would be sure to attend church if he knew that another minister would officiate. As soon as Mr. May learned how this man felt towards him, he never failed to send word when he was about to exchange, so that Mr.--- might have as many church privileges as he would accept."

Blessings

2 comments:

Tracie the Red said...

RE: "I do hope your little boy is better."

I've also run into such simple and honest concern and kindness, and it never fails to stop me in my tracks and melt my heart. It really works.

A few years back, when I was being a lector at an Episcopal church, I made rather a huge blunder in the OT reading for the Wed. evening Eucharist. I was mortified. I returned to my seat and tried not to sob; I felt like I'd really disrupted the entire service for everyone. Afterwards, I said to the priest, "Fr. Lee, please forgive my error," and he said, "What error?"

Oh, the relief...

boston unitarian said...

Hi Tracie,
Many thanks for the note-the power of genuine and simple kindness...
I hope all goes well with you and
blessings, BU