Sometimes when I read Paul's letters in the Bible, I read them in Robb's voice to me.
In my mind, it's not all that different from a greeting card, a birthday card, or a Dickinson poem he may have copied down and given to me. Not a wordsmith, he often counted on the words of others to convey the sentiments of his heart.
And if Paul's letters are written in the voice of a leader who left his community behind as the Lord called him to a new one, then couldn't these words match the heart of Robb?
I read 2 Thessalonians this morning. And instead of my own voice in my head, or the voice I imagine to belong to the Apostle Paul, I hear the voice of my love.
"With this in mind, Tricia," I let him insert my name, "we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
A few paragraphs later, more words come alive to me -also in his voice, but this time as a message to our sons.
"So then, brothers, stand firm and hold on to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." (2 Thess. 2:15-17)
I can hear my husband's voice, though the words are not his own.
Tricia, I'm praying for you. By his power, may he fulfill every good purpose of yours as you raise our sons and write those books we talked so much about. May he be glorified in you and you in him. Do this thing, Baby Girl.
Tucker, Tyler, stand firm. Hold on to the things your mom and I have taught you, the things she is teaching you every day. I'm asking God to encourage your hearts and to strengthen you in everything you do.
And, hey boys, listen to Mommy. Because I said so.