"There was no one in the room except Paul and Philemon. All the others had long since gone home; but it takes time to bring a man's whole life into the light of God, and the tired apostle looked as though he had fought some great battle and conquered. Philemon suddenly dropped at his feet, and Paul raised his hands over him and blessed him.
'The Lord bless thee and keep thee, my son in Christ. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and bring thee to His eternal glory through Jesus Christ our Lord.'
...'His light hath shined in our darkness,' murmured Philemon, and he stood for a full five minutes watching the beautiful craft setting out so gallantly towards the bright open sea and the lands where the sun sets. The storms would come, but the beginning was always glorious. Warmed by the glow of his great joy, he quite forgot his shivering young slave who had no cloak.
Then he turned and saw him, and a strange compassion he had never known before welled within him...he had certainly never given a thought as to the boy...Why should he? The master's comfort was the business of the slave, but the slave's comfort was not the affair of his master.
But now? Something had happened. He seemed to be seeing the whole world with eyes that had been opened. The colours of the sky were fairer, the scent of the acacia at his side suddenly mattered. Could it be that the love of Christ, mysterious and imperceptible as the coming of the dawn, was already beginning to warm and lighten the deep darkness of his broken heart? He hardly knew; but he spread his cloak round his slave and drew him to his side...."
Wow. Both Ben and I were just in awe reading this to the kids. It was so good... to be reminded of the heavenly war waged about those who would have their whole life brought into the light of God. And what a beautiful picture of how the love of Christ changes everything!! It warms our hearts and brings light to the deep darkness of our brokenness!!