The”D” Minister

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…”
Ephesians 4:2

This morning before heading for Cokesbury I received a call from the funeral home letting me know about upcoming funeral plans and checking to see if all those plans were ok with me. That is a normal procedure just to make sure they have the pastor’s approval. I am sure they learned that the hard way somewhere in the past. We all learn some hard lessons that way.

The young man on the other end of the line, trying to make sure that everything was absolutely correct, wanted to know how to list my name. He said: “Is it S-t-e-p-h-e-n- Martin?” I replied; “Yes.” He then followed, “Do I list it as Reverend Stephen Martin and then add ‘D. Minister?” I laughed and replied “No, the D.Min. you are referring to is my degree – Doctor of Ministry… I am not a ‘D’ Minister.”

I got a good laugh out of that, especially when Shirley reminded me that I was, indeed, a “D” minister to some people down through the years. I know that she meant “Dear” minister.

People make mistakes about letters that follow our name and what we went through to get them. Circumstances come along that we cannot control. Systems seem to be put into place for someone’s agenda and not for the care and concern of the people that agenda may govern. When any of those things happen we have a choice on how we are going to react or respond. We can laugh, take it with a grain of salt, and not let it bother us or alter our course, behavior or thinking. On the other hand we can react with anger and insult turning the people and the situation around us into negative feelings. The better part is to take the higher road of understanding and tolerance. This always leaves the door open for more conversation and growing relationships.

Don’t close the door. May all your “D” moments be “Dear” moments

Lord, be with me in such a way that your Spirit may lead me to openness, understanding and tolerance in all situations. Help me to keep the doors of relationship building always open to those around me.  Amen.

Grace nad Peace


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