My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. 1 Corinthians 2:4 (NLT)
In the grand ballroom of the Washington Hilton there gathered a throng of some of the most powerful and influential people in the world. The President of the United States, cabinet members, members of congress, military leaders, ambassadors, diplomats from many countries, religious leaders, authors, and speakers were there together. I was certainly out of place and had no business being among that crowd. I was given an empty seat when a diplomat didn’t show up. To my amazement, it happened to be a seat just a few feet from the podium. Looking around, on the stage and off, the crowd was a Who’s Who of thinkers, leaders, movers, and shakers. I looked down the agenda. The President, because he is the President, got the premiere, final spot on the program that morning.
Right before the President in his polished, for-the-cameras glory would provide the final word, a special guest would take the podium. She was so short that most of the room could not see her face behind the podium. Her voice was quiet, almost a whisper. That morning I was privileged to hear the diminutive, physically frail Mother Teresa of Calcutta address some of the world’s most powerful individuals.
As she spoke, you could hear a pin drop. I remember feeling Holy Spirit thick in the room in a way I have rarely experienced. Looking back, I remember that she shared simple scriptural truths in a few short minutes. She proclaimed Jesus’ message of love and life. It was powerful in a way you can’t explain in terms of human eloquence or persuasion. Her words were packed with spiritual potency that flows out of a life of self-denial and sacrificial love. I will never forget the experience.
When she was finished, the President was called upon to respond to her words. I have never seen a master politician whose tongue-tied words seemed so foolish and impotent.
As I read this morning’s chapter and the verse above, I was taken back to that ballroom and found myself reliving the moment when a tiny woman from India spoke simple spiritual truths and confounded the most worldly wise people on the planet. It’s a reminder to me that I don’t need to be eloquent. Love coupled with simple truths shared in gentle sincerely are all that Holy Spirit requires to show up in powerful ways.