IT TOOK TWO LETTERS to do the job.
I wrote a blog article last week about how people in my Bible study group surprised a fellow member of ours with letters of encouragement to help him through a difficult summer. He was a school teacher who got pushed into retiring sooner than he wanted.
I’ve wondered if the administrators wanted his salary so they could hire two teachers. I’m afraid I think like that, given what I’ve seen in this world.
In a moment, I’ll let you read the letter I wrote to him.
But first, I thought you would enjoy an email I got a few days after I wrote the letter for my friend.
This email came from a reader.
Hi Steve, I bought your book; The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy.
It is now in the recycle bin, as I found it useless to inform of what will actually happen.
I guess you will consider me a oddball, but I have intensively studied the Prophetic Word and there is all the information there to know God’s plans for His creation.
Please look at my free articles at www….
Well, it takes all kinds.
Glad to know you recycle.
A letter for Terry
Now, swinging the pendulum in the opposite direction, here’s part of the letter I wrote my friend, whom I’ve known for around two decades.
You are my 2 a.m. phone call if I ever need to make one. My number one guy to go to for backup.
If I got cancer and needed money for treatment, I believe you would offer it to me without me even needing to ask. I saw how you took care of your brother Joseph when he developed cancer in Trinidad. You flew him up…arranged for his treatment, and let him live with you and Cris during the months that followed.
When he wished to marry his partner, Ann Marie, you brought her up and arranged the marriage and I got to walk her down the aisle. What a blessing that was for me to see unfold, and for me to play a tiny role in.
You’ve bought shoes for kids at school. You’ve taken them food as well. You cared about them from the brain in the top of their head to toes in the bottom of the feet.
For friends and strangers you’ve stained decks, installed overhead fans and lights, loaded a huge moving truck for a retired lady moving to New York City to take care of her mom. You helped me dig a 40-foot long trench to install a drainage tube, and spent an entire Saturday with me staining my fence, from morning till night.
You did buy me that chocolate wine, which kinda counts against you.
But I know your heart was in the right place, even though your taste buds were still at Burger King.
You took the lead on praying for Erin, Barbara, and Tim to stop smoking. I would never have done that. I would have been afraid of offending them or making them feel as though I was passing judgment on them. But you stuck your neck out. And you did it because you loved them more than you feared them.
You are a wonderful Bible study teacher, far better than I am. I love it when you teach. I love sitting back and absorbing the discussion, and jumping in now and then. You do excellent research. And you present it with joy and passion, while inviting others to add their thoughts—and making them feel welcome to do so. What an incredible gift that is.
You’re a wonderful liar, too. You lie at just the right time, with just the right reason. Thank you for the birthday lie. But don’t ever ask me to help you move a table again.
I believe with all that is in me—perhaps even more than I believe in life after death—that in this life I have a friend….And I believe if ever I needed anything you would be there to do everything. I don’t love you like a brother. I love you as a brother.
One more thing. When we Millers have Miller Time – events that are typically for the immediate family – and I think you and Cris might be free and interested in joining us, before inviting you I always check with the kids to make sure they’re okay with it. I’ve done this many times over the years. I’d like you to know that in all the times I’ve asked them, my kids have always wanted you.
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
PS. A few days ago Terry accepted a full-time teaching job. And it pays better.
Wow! What a blog, Stephen!
Yes, Terry is a great example of God’s “trophies of Grace”! What a challenge!
Thanks for sharing!
Stephen M. Miller
Steve and Ted, thanks. I always get a bit nervous when I’m putting this much of me out there.
Your very last line, where we are informed Terry’s new job pays better. I am reminded of Job, whose fortunes were doubled at the end of his troubles.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks, Tom. I’m embarrassed to admit that the similarity with Job never occurred to me. Thanks for keeping the Bible in this alleged Bible blog.
Steve, just keep being you. I love you! 🙂
Stephen M. Miller
So good to be loved. Peace to you, good soul.