This past weekend I was visiting my in-laws in Kansas City. As I was in their garage a book caught my eye. It was sitting on a shelf all alone and lonely amongst a bunch of clutter.
I picked it up and chuckled at the hilariously campy (though intended to be serious) cover picture. The book is "Hard Living People and Mainstream Christians," by Tex Sample. Tex authored many books and spent a long tenure as a professor at St. Paul's Seminary in Kansas City, MO.
Being the sort of finnicky reader that I am, I went first to the table of contents and found the chapter title that called to me the most. I found it: "How to get cussed out."
Thinking it would be a comical tale of truth about conflict I jumped immediately there. To my surprise this was no comedy. Sample tells the story about a man who had spent his whole life ministering to the poor, and who, in turn, shared a story with the reader. I was engrossed in this story, so much that I was moved to tears. It was perhaps the most powerful three pages I have ever read. I don't want to spell it all out for you...you should read it yourself. But what I can tell you is that it's about a situation where someone's learning how to get cussed out became the catalyst for dynamic ministry in a congregation.