By Jim Dennis
When The Common Cup Company was in Calgary last fall, I bought some CDs. I have been listening to them and particularly to the unique and appropriate piano stylings of Jim Uhrich (Uhrich is a former St. Andrew’s minister and founding member of Common Cup who died in 2009).
When Jim Uhrich was working on his dissertation for his Doctor of Divinity degree in Preaching, he realized that he needed some help in the field of science and math. Since he knew that was what I did, he asked if I would help. Through that
effort we became good friends. At that time I was not aware of his unique ability as a musician.
One day when we were working out some details, he told me about how much pressure he felt when preaching. He said your message and delivery are being evaluated, not only by the church board and congregation but by God. He was revealing some inner feelings to a friend and I was trying to think of something to make him feel better or looking for a way to get out of there. What I said was out-of-character and I didn’t know where it came from.
I said: “Jim, when you are delivering a sermon, do you feel that God is with you, guiding your thoughts and helping you to put them into words?”
There was a long silence. I felt apprehensive about asking a very personal question that was really outside my understanding. I could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he considered my question. Then he said, “yes.”
A little more discussion followed and when I left, he said our talk had been inspiring. Of course, I was watching closely at his next Sunday sermon. Although he had his usual fire, it seemed to me that he was more confident and relaxed.
I have been thinking about that incident and it seems to me that on that occasion God was working through me to say something that my friend really needed to hear. It isn’t just me. I have seen others who are able to say that right thing at the right time to comfort and inspire and they are definitely not all officially ministers.
Do you suppose, if we are open to God’s will, that each of us will receive God’s light to help those who need it? I believe it is so.
Let it shine.
By Jim Dennis