The title of this blog space is “A Safe Place with Ruth Graham”. I chose that title intentionally. I want people to feel safe with me. I am just a pilgrim on this unpredicatable path called life. And I know there are fellow pilgrims who struggle as I do. Devotion doesn’t come easily to me. Often I have more questions than answers or feel as if I sit in the dark waiting for someone to light a candle. Often I feel marginalized because of my mistakes. Misunderstood. It’s easy to get stuck there.
I was reading Hebrews 5 this morning and read something that just jumped out at me. The writer is talking about human priests acting on another’s behalf. “For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness…” (NAS) In other words, their weaknesses qualify them for service. They can identify with the weak ones, the ignorant ones. I recommend a book by Dan Allender, Leading with a Limp. He addresses this whole idea with clarity.
In the King James Version the word for “misguided” is “out of the way”. Ignorant is in both versions but if you look at the dictionary “ignorant” means “lacking in knowledge or training; uninformed; unaware”. It doesn’t seem to mean willful ignorance but more the idea that they just haven’t been taught. So we have a group of people out of the way and unaware. Who can minister to them?
Those of us who have felt sidlined, out of the loop and are unaware can minister gently with those of “our kind”. We are not disqualified. Far from it. We know that it has to be a minstry of kindness becasue we know how desperately the lost and unaware need kindness. We’ve been there.
Who will you minister kindly to today?