I have had the most overwhelming positive responses to my speaking appearances ... everything from standing ovations and long lines of people to buy books to an audience of two or three during an open mic in the coffee area of Barnes & Noble who really didn't come to hear me, but decided to stay, drink their coffee, and listen anyway.
Of course there was a red-neck heckler in the back while one of my colleagues read her piece of prose ... but 99% of the time - the response everywhere I have been has left me with feelings of gratefulness, inspiration, hope, and awe.
It's funny ... because the emotions I strive to instill into each audience whether they hear me speak or read my book are truly what I receive in return. Even during events where I sign books and nothing else, the response at my table is always ... "I love to read about the South," or "My mama would love this," or better yet ... "Just make it out to my wife." Those guys aren't kidding me ... they'll read it before their wives do!
And yet ... I received a sad response from a very dear friend recently (a friend I love and care about) who wrote that she couldn't ask me to speak at her church ... because "the women's ministry head thinks because you are not currently affiliated with a church body, she can't ask you to speak to our ladies. There is also the issue of some of the words in your book, which I understand you are using for reality's sake, but I myself don't feel comfortable selling the book in a church facility for that reason."
For clarity sake, please know that the few cuss or slang words used in my book are few and far between ... and certainly are nothing any good Christian man or woman hasn't heard before. It's amazing to me, that some of the best Christian people I know, are some of the most closed-minded. Not necessarily meaning to be, they discriminate when it doesn't fit into their beliefs. And really ... it's okay. I'm not into pushing my product where it's not wanted. But those kinds of responses are the exact reason why I'm not a part of any "body of believers." It's why I choose to worship at home.
But I find it amazing as I stand before a crowd who have come to hear me speak and I look out over a sea of faces and think how many denominations are truly represented here and how many will my message help. The "church" is listening (and buying my book) ... whether "they" want it to or not.
And what they fail to realize, is that my speech of inspiration to men and women of all walks of life ... is a also a speech of hope and light. A tesimony to God's love and mercy the likes of which many in the church have NEVER heard before. I can almost guarantee that. A speech that would uplift the destitute and downtrodden of their congregation. But ... of course, there's the issue of those few "bad words in my book." Words, I don't necessarily say ... but my characters certainly do.
And of course the speech I give at a church group is without any offensive words as opposed to one that may be given at a secular facility that may have a few choice words placed for the sake of meaning. Isn't it amazing how ALL of us act differently when in church than when we're not? Don't we all find ourselves being just a little hypocritical that way? Or is it a matter of respect and using good judgment? By nature, I'm not a conformist ... maybe that's why I don't belong to any church.
Yet, my friend went on to say, "... I know you are annointed by God in your storytelling, and in how you relate to women ... I truly love you, and I support you 100%, so please don't be offended, and understand that I am sincere in my relationship with you, and in my praise of your skills. I really love your book(s), can't wait for Televenge, and all the rest that God is going to give you to write ..."
It's a lesson in taking the good with bad.
I wanted to blog about this, not to embarass my friend nor to speak ill of her church ... she is a wonderful woman with a beautiful spirit ... it's just that I find the whole response an interesting insight into the human spirit. It reminds me of those groups who refuse to take medicine, yet fail to realize it was God who divinely inspired the production and use of medicine.
Ah well ... ONWARD! I still intend to speak to any church group that will have me. Quite possibly they will surprise me after all ... it may be the Catholics or the Presbyterians but who knows how the message will get out. Only God does.
I'll close today's blog with the following endorsement, a speaking testimonial if you will, from one pastor who heard my speech:
From the Reverend Frank D. Stewart Pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Statesville, NC
“Pamela King Cable invites her listeners and readers to consider the incredible faith potential that awaits us outside our comfort zones. Pamela is a wonderful storyteller, and yet much more. In a “Southern Fried” woman’s style, she weaves a spiritual cloth that provides us an avenue for growth. After hearing her speak I realized this woman has the power to mend our spirits, strengthen our weaknesses, and restore our hope. Pamela has a special gift to place us in time machine and transport us back to our past so that we may discover our future. It is my delight and pleasure to recommend to everyone the remarkable talent of this fine speaker and storyteller, Pamela King Cable.”
Blessings to you and yours.