Archive for January, 2010

Divine Inspiration

January 21, 2010

I was originally going to try to post this as some sort of status update, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had so much more to say than just a simple update.

Last year, spring semester 2009, I had a class entitled Intro to Ministry. It was in this class that I met an adjunct professor named Dean Barham. Dean is the preaching minister at Woodmont Hill Family of God here in Nashville and I have been extremely impressed with him, not only his preaching but with his ministry as well. His previous career was that of a business lawyer, but he left his practice to pursue full-time ministry. It was through many of his experiences that he spoke to our class; he was open and honest in a way that I have rarely seen a person who preaches. He has no mystique about his person; Dean is straight forward and honest. His insight to scripture is marvelous and I have been moved by his preaching like I have been by no other, but it was something that he said to me today that has had me pondering for several hours.

Dean and I met today for coffee. We met for no real reason other than to catch up as we haven’t had much interaction this school year. I have stayed occupied more so than normal with the loads of school work I have been assigned, causing me to not be as free and as social as I would like to be, so getting together with Dean was something that I had been looking forward to all day.

I refer to Dean as one of my “Pauls”, someone who is older than I that I can confide in or converse with and get good advice rooted in his life experiences. He has been places in his life that I am in now and it always helps to have an older brother to talk to when you have questions. We talked about everything from his preaching style to my summer mission trip to Honduras, from the situation in Haiti to the new freshman Bible class he will be teaching next year, and it was at the end of our hour long meeting that he said something that caught me off guard.

As we were leaving, he shook my hand, looked me square in the face and said, “Thanks for meeting with me, you inspire me.”

At the time, I replied with a simple, “No problem, I’ll talk to you soon,” but the more I thought about it, the more I found myself surprised by the idea of inspiring anyone, especially someone whom I think so highly of in the theological circle.

After spending most of the day in thought about his statement, I have come to only one simple conclusion. God uses broken, imperfect people to do His will and to speak to other people.  While my life, to me, seems almost silly in some places and a little vanilla in most, there are people who are always watching me to see what I cannot, to see the things that God is doing in and through my life. This is by no means an isolated incident; God works with all people and has a history of using people whether they know it or not to do His will, but how ironic is it that a God of infinite power and strength can move so soft and subtle as to not even make His presence known to us.

Dean has inspired so many people in his time as a minister, so I find it strange that according to him, I have helped him in the creative journey that is his ministry. I was humbled, but those words are not enough.