That Sacred Space

When Fred “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” Rogers was in seminary learning to preach, he visited a small church. The minister didn’t follow the rules of homiletics, and Fred didn’t find the subject inspiring. He mentally tore the sermon apart—until he noticed the woman beside him was enthralled. When the preacher finished, she leaned over and whispered, “That’s just what I needed to hear today.”

That’s when Fred realized that the space between a minister and a listener is sacred.

Silence your inner critic
When I was a music major, I was nearly ruined for church music. I couldn’t listen to another singer without cringing when I heard a sharp note or a vibrato that had spun out of control. What little I had learned had fostered a critical spirit.

The joy of church music had vanished. To restore it and an attitude of worship, I had to zip the lip of my inner critic—just as Fred Rogers did.

Allow the Spirit room
The Lord delights in humbling His children. If we don’t humble ourselves, He will do what it takes to remind us that we are servants. In service true joy is found. And it’s in that sacred space between author and reader that the Spirit works.

The next time you read an article or book you don’t care for, don’t douse someone else’s appreciation for it with the cold water of criticism. Remember that sacred space.

Photo: Angela HuntAngela Hunt is hard at work on another book. Her deadline approacheth. Visit her online.


  1. says

    The garden of Eden was perfect. Even so, Eve, the first “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” woman may have said, “I could do it better.” My heart mirrors this thought. Is it a result of original sin that we all must overcome? Angela, your words are an answer to my New Year’s prayer that God would remove my critical spirit. “Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves” (Phil 2:3 CEV).

    • says

      Thank you, Amy. I think we all can identify with Mother Eve at one point or another, and criticism is all too quick to leap to our tongues. May the Lord help us to keep silent, and, when necessary, to speak only the things that will be kind and helpful.


  2. says

    I loved this and I, too, have been practicing living without a critical spirit. When I get in a position where it’s easy to be critical or I feel there is nothing in it for me, I have started asking God to teach me in that place. Up until now, it’s been in a listening environment. I can’t wait to practice as I read and look for the sacred space!

  3. Mary Kay says

    You packed a powerful lot of wisdom in that short essay, Angie. Thank you. I shall be chewing on it and praying God burns it into my memory.

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