2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 2 Timothy 1:2 – 4 ESV
When I used to think of the Apostle Paul I imagined that he spoke boldly and was able to strike up a conversation with anyone. He was neither afraid of death nor the pain and suffering he would endure as a result of sharing Jesus Christ with others. He was also over driven at times (perhaps Type-A personality by modern standards) so that some people were turned off by him, and he was not the most touchy feely person. And then I read 2 Timothy.
Paul’s willingness to be vulnerable with Timothy is touching. Paul was not afraid of what Timothy or others might think of him when they read his affirmations. Instead, he boldly did what Paul did best – he spoke passionately from his heart. A person openly sharing that he or she longs to see a friend, and that the friend brings him or her great joy is refreshing. It is heartwarming. It is right.
I often find myself biting my tongue when words of love and joy threaten to spill out in conversations with my family and friends. Why is that? Why do I feel that I can’t or shouldn’t say, “I love you,” or “You mean a lot to mean,” or even, “I miss you”?
Perhaps I could pleasantly surprise my family and friends with my soft side, just like Paul surprised me with his. I think I will make a point of doing that this week. What about you?