A Sound of Love in Real Time
When Paul wanted to communicate and encourage the followers of Christ, he had to send a letter -- you know, a letter written by hand on paper with ink. Remember those? And when the letter needed a personal touch, it was hand delivered by a special messenger (Tychicus, in this case) who could bring the information and the love that Paul could not bring himself.
What a different world we live in today! Last month, my 18-year-old son, Luke, went to Japan for 2 weeks with a group of friends not much older than himself. Several times during his trip he Facetimed us from Japan. At 11:00am in Japan, 9:00pm in Minnesota, he could talk with us in real time. We could hear about his previous day, ask questions about what he would be up to that day, and tell him we loved him and wished him well. Live. Not quite in-person. But face-to-face-ish. One night we also added in my sister, Luke's aunt, who lives in California.
The thing I appreciate the most about all this is that I could give him my love without the delay of weeks of delivery time. I could tell him I love him without the separation of a middleman message deliverer. I could know he was ok because I could see him and hear him and laugh with him in real time.
Nothing will replace the power of the hugs and stories we shared when he came home. But tech sure did make his absence less painful. I hope he goes again next summer. And if he does, I'll look forward to the unmistakable ringtone of a Facetime call.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Ephesians 6:21-22
So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus will tell you everything. He is a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts.