During our first meeting in my office, I realized that the task at hand for this particular client wasn’t as legal as it was something different. Her legal situation, while not particularly egregious, was grim. She had been convicted of a misdemeanor and was appealing the conviction as she wanted desperately to clear her record.
As she sat and poured out her problems, I eventually put my pen down and just listened. The facts surrounding the accusation were simple and the legal defense took just a minute to consider. The chances of winning were slim, at best. The facts surrounding the rest of her life were not nearly as simple. She had taken some pretty tough hits in life and the result was financial stress, health problems and the challenge of raising two children on her own.
During that consultation, I told her how we would handle her case. As importantly, I tried to give her something to get a hold of for her to begin to handle her life, as well. Simple encouragement that brought hope and perspective. The truth of who she was without the shame and guilt she had been piling on herself for some time now. No judgment or condemnation but recognition of the value of her eternal design.
We went to trial and lost. We tried – threw a legitimate legal argument at a legitimate legal problem. Concerned that she was going to be upset following the trial, I started to talk with her in the hallway and she interrupted me.
She said, “Mr. Prickett, I am as full of hope right now as I have been in a long time. When I came to your office, I was scared and defeated but you were kind to me. Nobody has said the nice things that you said to me in my entire life. Those words were exactly what I needed to hear.” I listened and watched as a single tear rolled down her cheek. She went on to share that she had signed up for college classes even though “it may take forever to get my degree, but I’m going to be moving forward with positive steps to keep my mind off of my problems.”
We all have the capacity to be the minister and we don’t need a church job to do it. We just have to be willing to agree with God in circumstances where people need God’s truth, hope and love. Once you know, you know enough. Once you have found truth, hope and love, give it away no matter what job you have from which you work as a minister.