“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” – 2 Cor 3:1-3
I’d forgotten about this verse (v.3), quite honestly. Until it came in my email. The minute I started reading the devotional, I was caught. Stopped everything else I was doing, just to let the thought sink in.
I am a letter.
A letter from Christ.
I love letters. Writing them, and receiving them. Email has therefore, been both a good and bad thing. Good, because I send and receive letters much faster. Bad, because the joy of handwritten prose has been lost along the way – and together with it, the little feeling of surprise and curiosity that comes with opening a nicely sealed envelope.
I cherish every little card I receive, especially now, when ‘hard copy’ stuff doesn’t come by often. But even in email – I keep many folders of email that detail wonderful conversations I’ve had with friends far and near, new and old.
Some of these letters are about very serious life issues; even in print, the struggles, anguish and pain – but also the persistent hoping in God – come through. Some other letters are celebratory or overflowing with gratitude ‘just because’; these have the power to divert my attention from myself and back onto God. Other letters, I re-read and still laugh, because they were nonsensical ramblings that show just how comfortable two or more people can be in a friendship… and that we should never be too busy or burdened to giggle at funny things. Many letters, are notes of comfort and encouragement people have taken the effort to write to me. I treasure every one – they are reminders that I do not walk alone.
[A letter from the dear couple I wrote to last month. Was amused – a typewriter-print letter with a handwritten card. Very sweet. Very touched.]
And that’s pretty much how I’ve seen “letters”.
But to think of myself as a letter…
Hmm. So, do I have lines? How many GSM am I? Do I have prints or decorative patterns? If so, what are they like? How am I folded? Do I have a matching envelope?… More importantly: What has/is God written/writing in me? Who am I being written to/for?
The devotional I was reading had this to say:
“Did you know you are a letter? The scripture above reminds us that people read us. And when they do, what do they find out about Christ? About God’s love? About grace or forgiveness? We are all imperfect, which is why we also need to be reminded daily about who we are in Christ. without Him and knowing Him, we will never be able to represent Him well.” – Rest Ministries
Thought about my life mission, my greatest wish/dream again. Resonance. Thankful for that small assurance.
Curtain call comes back to mind. The question in Chords too. There’s always this urgency. It doesn’t come from selfish ambition – wanting to look good and earn praise, check stuff off a list and feel I’ve “arrived”. … Rather, it stems from wanting to be true to what God is writing in the letter that is me. That desire, is tempered by the knowledge it is still God who oversees and holds all things together (Col 1:17). My part, is to literally and figuratively lie fully open to the mastery of His authoring and pensmanship.
The devotional ended in the best possible way: a ‘letter’ from God.
It’s really just a collection of Bible verses, but isn’t it true? – the Bible is the longest, truest, deepest, most life-changing love letter the world has ever read and will ever read.
You may not know me, but I know everything about you – Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up – Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways – Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered – Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image – Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being – Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring – Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived – Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation – Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book – Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live – Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb – Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born – Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me – John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love – 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you – 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your father – 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could – Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father – Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand – James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs – Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope – Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love – Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore – Psalm 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing – Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you – Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession – Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul – Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things – Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me – Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart – Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires – Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine – Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you – Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart – Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes – Revelation 21:3-4
And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth – Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus – John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed – John 17:26
He is the exact representation of my being – Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you – Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you – 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love – Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me – 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from my love again – Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen – Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father – Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is – Will you be my child? – John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you – Luke 15:11-32
Your Dad, Almighty God