Paul makes an appeal to Philemon for Onesimus, a fellow prisoner. It is an example of one person humbly caring for another, even though the circumstance of their common life is one of imprisonment. Onesimus was being freed from prison, and Paul wanted Philemon to release him also from slavery.
While I was helping people from other lands with their English, I met a man who had spent 28 years in a transition camp for refugees. He had finally received permission to come to Canada, where some of his children now lived. He needed some proficiency in English to apply for citizenship and he was a good learner. If he could master this language, he would be eligible to become a citizen. After some time he was granted permission to follow up on it. My care for him helped free him from a kind of imprisonment. God brought us together and we were able, with care and love, to build the needed bridge by which he could change his status. This was an act of love and service to a person in need.
There may be people in need of your love in your neighborhood. Love them for Jesus’ sake.
Lord, help us to be helpful by our love and thereby live out your love for others in need. Amen. — VH