Letter to John (based on Matthew 11:1-15)
It was wonderful to see you last week, though hard to witness your suffering. It must be awful being locked in prison, especially when it’s undeserved.
Simon and I hope to visit again soon, but I wanted to write straight away to tell you that we went to Jesus, and we asked him your question:
“Are you really the Messiah, or should we be expecting someone else?”
It’s OK. He wasn’t angry. I know you were worried about that, but I think he understands your doubts. When you’re trapped in the darkness, it’s easy to question what you were sure of in the light. And he knows you’ve given your whole life to telling others about him. It’s only natural to be disappointed that this is the outcome.
He didn’t give a direct answer, but he did ask us to tell you what we’ve seen and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear…
And it’s true – miracles are happening everywhere! I saw one with my own eyes – a woman healed from bleeding she had suffered for twelve whole years! People are even saying he raised a little girl from the dead!
He must be the Messiah. It’s the only reasonable conclusion.
I hope that’s a comfort, to know that you were right, to know that your work had a purpose, but I also know it must be hard to hear of breakthroughs and miracles everywhere else while nothing seems to change in your own situation. I wish I knew why, or that there was something I could do, but I don’t have the answers.
What I do know is Jesus really cares about you. He told us to pass on a message: “God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.” I wish you could have seen the compassion in his eyes. He was close to tears.
What’s more, I’ve just heard from Miriam that after Simon and I left, Jesus went on to tell the crowd how great you are. I thought that would make you smile.
I don’t know how this will end for you, but I am convinced that Jesus is the Messiah, and that somehow everything will be alright in the end.
I will continue to pray for a miracle.
All my love,
I thought I’d share something a bit different today. The letter above is the entry I submitted for a writing competition – the first one I’ve ever entered! The challenge was to write a letter to someone going through a difficult time – either real or fictional. The main challenge for me was keeping it below the maximum word count of 400 words, but this passage about John the Baptist has been one of my favourites for a while and I enjoyed exploring it from a different angle.
Finally I just wanted to let you know that this month has been particularly busy for me with work and other commitments, and it will continue to be busy on and off for the next few weeks. I may not be able to post or visit quite as often as normal, but I will still be around and keeping up as much as I can!