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An Open Letter to the Estranged Brother or Sister

Dear brother,

May this letter somehow by God’s grace reach you behind enemy lines.

I’ve wanted to talk to you for a long time and now that you have this letter my hope is renewed.

It has been years, but my wife still dreams troubling dreams about you and your children. Their sad faces call out to her as you lead them away from her, wondering why you were ripped from all our lives. When she shares her dreams with me, we end up having to talk through it all over again. The dream wasn’t real but the loss, O how real it is for all of us.

Reminded of the pain yet again, anger tries to interfere but the warmth of our love for you is so much stronger.

These conversations all end the same. We pray for the day God will restore you into fellowship. Then we reassure ourselves God loves you much more than we do and it was His love that could not allow the sin in your life to go unchecked. This chastisement we hope will prove your sonship and garner love for your father in heaven.

In the meantime we grieve and hope. It’s an odd kind of grief we experience. It’s like you’ve died but more like what someone must experience who has a child stolen or a son lost in the jungles of a foreign war. Terror at what may be happening or have happened to you in this cruel captivity, yet hope you may live to tell the story. We know it is out of our hands now and we pray for strength and patience.

Any news we hear of you is deeply analyzed for some glimpse into how God is working in your life and how long we may have to wait.

From what we can tell from the horrible distant noises we hear coming from you, the enemy has blinded your eyes with the smoke of your own pride and you cannot see that it is his hand that is hurting you.

In the midst of Satan’s work on you he sent you new friends. They do not love you. In the end they will prove their faithlessness when they tell you to curse God and die. But for now, they are so very impressed with your courage and support you in your defiance. They do this because they enjoy your suffering and want it prolonged as much as possible.

When humility has cleared the smoke, please do not let shame revive it. We love you and nothing you could do could separate you from the love of God that is within us. The fatted calf is in the stall and your robe is close by. We are standing, scanning the horizon, looking for the great day of your deliverance.

Please know even now, your room is ready, your place at the table is still set and the joy we shall all have at your repentance will cover the multitude of your sins and make even them part of the story of your redemption. God will have His glory. He himself bore your sins, the ones you are still in today, on the cross. He indeed despised the shame, your shame, for the joy set before him.

I know God will prepare a celebration table for you in the presence of your enemies. Your cup will run over onto your bejeweled hand as the abundance of his forgiveness washes over your whitened soul. May God bless me to live to see this day. And on that glorious day, may the tears of gratitude run hot down your face as your heart draws joy deep from wells of salvation. On that day we will cry together and laugh together. Your sorrow as our sorrow and your joy as our joy once again as Father knits us together in His love and builds us together in His holy cathedral of praise. Even now I raise my voice in song as I write.

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise him above ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”

On that day, we will sing it together.



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