Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Letter in the Mail

It saddens me that hand-written letters are a thing of the past, it seems!  I love to find a surprise in my mailbox handwritten from a friend telling me something special.

Imagine, Philemon receiving a letter from Paul.  Now it would have been hand delivered by a two men one Tychicus who is traveling to Colosse with the letter to the people of this city, Colossians and another man by the name of Onesimus.  The letter handed to Philemon is personal from a man that he respects greatly and probably loves - Paul.

Paul is imprisoned and meets a man that he leads to Christ.  Onesimus who is the former slave to the man receiving the letter is the man Paul leads to Christ.  This same man delivering the letter once stole from Philemon and ran away to Rome.  He meets Paul is forever changed, but Paul and "O" realize that he must make things right by returning to Philemon and facing the wrong.

I wanted you to have a little background on the story behind the letter.  The man begins to read the letter and he comes upon  these words - I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep hearing about your faith in the LORD Jesus and your love for all of God's people.  It struck me how powerful these words were to this man's ears.  Imagine, hearing from a man that you admire, you respect, you learn from, these amazing words.  Pause for a moment and place yourself at your mailbox, open the door and in it is a hand written letter.  You smile and so excited that it's not a bill, that it's  a hand-written letter by someone you love,  and you immediately tear it open.  To find the words from your loved friend, teacher, mentor, saying 
I always thank my God when I pray for you, __________, because I keep hearing about your faith in the LORD Jesus and your love for all of God's people.  What wonderful words to hear from anyone much less someone that you look up to, you respect, you know truly knows the Man Upstairs with all His heart.  Wow...don't you think Philemon was dancing in His driveway with that letter?  I would be!  What a reassuring word to remind you about your walk and talk when you are least expecting it.  Encouragement to last for days!

What do others say about you?  Are they hearing of our faith?  Are they hearing about our love for others?  Oh I hope so!  It is my prayer that this is true of all of us as it was Philemon.  He goes on and tells Philemon that his love has given Paul so much joy and comfort and that his kindness refreshes the hearts of God's people.  Is our love refreshing the hearts of others?

What could Philemon do after receiving such an opening to a letter asking him to show forgiveness to this man?  After all, Paul reminded him  who he was and who he currently is suppose to be and this would mean forgiveness shown!  Wow, what an approach.  I think all of us should follow Paul's example.

Oh, for days gone by and hand-written letters expressing sweet wonderful words of wisdom to each other...
Sweet blessings,

1 comment:

Frankie said...

What you wrote about Paul's hand-written letters caused me to think about as you said the loss of letter writing. Seems as though there is "nothing left behind" for others to treasure or learn from as was the case with Paul's letters. How sad!