Change comes in many forms. Spare change, change a tire, change of clothes, change of seasons, change of heart and changing of the guard are some quick and familiar examples; I am sure you could add more to this list to compliment change in your own life.
I am a changed life. Rather than going into the litany of life changes, I will focus on one…people who pass through my life and have lasting effects.
My church has been blessed, since early 2013, with a returning supply Pastor to lead and Spiritually feed the congregation. In the wake of uncertainty, Pastor Michael Anton entered our lives bringing with him a calm and peaceful manner. He accepts direction from the Holy Spirit and touches lives on a personal level. He has taken the time to get to know us by name and listens with his heart.
To listen with your heart is a skill taught by the Holy Spirit. During one sermon, Pastor Mike mentioned childless women/men/couples. He did it with an unusual compassion not often expressed in church where oftentimes the childless are not addressed because it is a silent and personal pain. At the conclusion of the service, I thanked him for being so compassionate and considerate to the childless that day.
Weeks later, Pastor Mike used an example of a newborn in his sermon. He was sharing in the awe of creation that we are born with all the parts we need; knitted together in the womb. During the sharing of peace, Pastor approached me to share a peaceful handshake as well as ensure that his reference of a newborn did not stir the fragile place in my heart. I had forgotten the comment I made to him weeks prior, but he had not forgotten. His approach and concern for my silent pain placed him instantly on my personal VIP list. The Holy Spirit was truly at work and it is a testament of faith that Pastor Mike is a willing vessel to be used in whatever way he is lead.
Our church has been blessed with a call of a new Pastor who will be among us in a little over one week. This Sunday Pastor Mike will lead his final services with us. It is a bittersweet change that will be taking place. As much as I want to personally hang onto this gem from God, he needs to move on to Spiritually touch other lives.
Thank you, Pastor Mike, for leading a flock during a change of leadership and entering a special place in our hearts.
Mark 6:34 (NIV)
When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.