Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Letter of Recommendation

2 Corinthians 3:1-6 Do we need letters of recommendation to you or from you? YOU are our letter written on our hearts known and read by all; written not in ink but by the Spirit, not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh… Not that ourselves are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; but rather our qualifications come from GOD.

As a grant writer, I view my work as an art form. Once again, in today’s second reading, we see that St. Paul was a wordsmith whose letters helped to shape and form a church, a people. Paul states that the letter that matters most of all is the human letter which is “written” in service to Christ. 

He underscores for us that we do not need letters of recommendation from others. My work, my words, my actions, “They are my letter of recommendation.” “They will tell you who I am, what I believe,” and most importantly how I live and work among my family, community and in the world. 

As a letter writer, Paul knew his competency was in the power of the Spirit of God who wrote through him. So too it is with me, with us that we need to recapture an understanding that is written upon our hearts and the God who writes through them. The truth is that unless God writes through us, then our attempts at writing will come to nothing. The good news is that God has chosen to write upon our hearts through many different hands. If I did not have that confidence in the Spirit’s work I would give up trying to write upon. 

It seems to me that sometimes I can hear Jesus say, “Your writings are your letter of recommendations enough. For this I Rejoice and give thanks. 

I have written some notes and letters that I wish had never flowed from my pen. They embarrassed me and were not carefully thought out. Written communications can be misinterpreted so easily. So if there are important things to be said, better do it face to face. For there are many emotional nuances that cannot be communicated by means of the written word. The sound of a voice, the look in a face, the reflection in the eyes, the body language, they all say so much. 

Take heed in what St. Paul is saying to us today…What a letter you are! You are here to be known and read by all. You are the only recommendation required. 

Someday I hope to chronicle with words my journey. What I believe is that on the final day when I stand before my Lord, that the book of my life story will be opened. I can only hope that one letter of recommendation is visibly written on my heart.

God has many writers in me, but there is but one author, God.

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