Sending My Very Heart

Sending My Very Heart

This morning I was reading in Philemon about Paul sending away his new friend Onesimus.  The letter makes Paul’s motive very clear–he is doing this to be above board, to insure that all of Onesimus’ obligations have been met, but NOT because he wants to part ways with Onesimus.  On the contrary, his new friend has become, “his very heart.”  In other words, he is sacrificing for the sake of serving.  His service to the Lord of holiness and his service to Onesimus’ reputation and to his friend Philemon dictates that Onesimus must go–but his heart, his affections, his desires, his personal needs, all shout for Onesimus to remain.  Considering Paul’s choice, I find myself asking the question: What is my “heart” and would I give it up to serve? What is closest to my interests,  dearest in my affections, deepest in my emotions? What good gift has the Lord given to me that I would be deeply pained to give up for the sake of service?  To say with Paul, “to live is Christ” is not difficult–at least saying the words causes little pain.  But if Christ is my life I must also be able to say “I am sending my very heart” when a greater service for Christ is in view. So, grimmacing at how I’m still so earth-bound and jealous for my precious treasures, I pray,

Be thou my Vision o Lord of my heart 
Not be all else to me save that thou art
Thou and thou only first in my heart
Waking and sleeping my treasure thou art

Take my life and let it be 
Consecrated Lord to thee
Take my moments and my days
Let them flow in ceasless praise

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Being a Branch