Sunday, September 17, 2006

Letters, Written on My Heart

1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3You 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.

4Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:1-6, NIV)

Putting myself in Paul's shoes, I think of my own children. They are like letters, written on my heart--yes!--and yes, they are known and read by everybody. I feel this, especially, as my husband is a priest at our church, and we are conspicuously the largest family there. Lord, give us grace and wisdom to be a good example, an encouraging letter to others.

May my children be letters from Christ to a broken world as a result of my ministry. Raising these souls is my primary ministry! And no small calling it is. Writing may be part of my ministry, too, but how much more significant are those words written not with ink but with the Spirit of God, not on tablets--or computer screens--but on tablets of human hearts.

If we work upon marble, it will perish.
If we work upon brass, time will efface it.
If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust.

But if we work upon men's immortal minds,
if we imbue them with high principles,
with the just fear of God and love of their fellow men,
we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface,
which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.

--Daniel Webster

Many people have said to me
'What a pity you had such a big family to raise.
Think of the novels and the short stories and the poems
you never had time to write because of that.'
And I looked at my children and I said,
'These are my poems. These are my
short stories.'

–Olga Masters


Deborah said...

Hi there!
I love your Daniel Webster quote. I needed this reminder this a.m. about my children being my "letters," isn't it an incredible privilege and responsiblity??
I have PMS in an ugly way this week :( and don't want to leave any mean words on my letters...guess I'll ask the Lord to control my pen :)

At A Hen's Pace said...

Hi Deborah--

I love how you've taken the metaphor and personalized it!! Hope your ugly mood passes soon--and for the virtue of self-control in the meantime!

(Funny, I used to think I was doing pretty well with that virtue--till I had kids!)