I read of a man involved in a terrible accident. When they freed his mangled body, there was so little life left that he was almost given up for dead. But when the surgeons had finished their work there remained only a wreck of a man.
Both legs were gone; the left arm was missing together with part of the collar bone. Only a finger and thumb remained on the right hand. There was only enough left of the man that had been, to suffer and remember.
But he still possessed a brilliant mind, enriched with a good education and broadened with world travel. And it was all wasted. There was nothing he could do but remain a helpless sufferer.
A thought came to him. It was always nice to receive letters, but why not write them – he could still use his right hand with some difficulty. But who could he write to? Was there anyone shut in and incapacitated like he was who could be encouraged by his letters. He thought of men in prison – they did have some hope of release whereas he had none – but it was worth a try.
He wrote to a Christian organisation concerned with prison ministry. He was told that his letters could not be answered – it was against prison rules, but he commenced this one sided correspondence.
He wrote twice a week and it taxed his strength to the limit. But into those letters he put his whole soul, all his experience, all his faith, all his wit, and all his Christian optimism. It must have been hard writing those letters, often in pain, and particularly when there was no reply. Frequently he felt discouraged and was tempted to give it up. But it was his one remaining activity and he resolved to continue as long as he could.
At last he got a letter. It was very short, written on prison stationery by the officer whose duty it was to censor the mail. All it said was:
“Please write on the best paper you can afford. Your letters are passed from cell to cell till they literally fall to pieces.”
No matter what our personal situation is, we still have God-given gifts and talents, experience and encouragement that we can share with others. As we think of those who have suffered so terribly in Syria, remember that as they try to re-build their lives, and later their nation, encouragement and prayer is perhaps all we can give but it is important.
Have a good week. Pastor Ron