“Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.” Colossians 4:7-8
I asked God for a Tychius yesterday. I was badly in need of someone, not to tell me about Paul’s circumstances – I could read that for myself. I need a Tychius to encourage my heart.
The day before yesterday had not been any kind of red letter day. It had been more like a black one. Small things had taken on gigantic proportions. I expressed the notion that I was considering writing a letter of resignation. Later on in the day the news seeped through the work place that I was leaving. For some, it seemed to be a cause for victory. Others were somewhat dismayed. I’m not leaving – not yet. Put away the party poppers and the champagne bottles for another day.
Involved in the asking for a Tychicus was being watchful enough to recognise him when he did turn up. It was never an “if”. Something inside my prayer life has shifted. I know that if I ask God for anything, He will answer. If I am praying about something, there will be an answer. My words don’t go unheard by my Father in heaven.
My Tychicus turned up at about 10.00 am. The phone rang. I really need to speak to someone about getting a hearing-aid friendly phone. I have taken to removing my hearing aid to answer the phone.
“Is Billy with you?”
“No, Billy isn’t with me. He used to be, but someone took him away.”
It appeared that Billy had been signed up to work with someone else, but the someone else he was signed up to work with was working with someone else. They hadn’t time for Billy. Poor Billy was left in an empty room with nothing to do.
“Billy wants to come back to you. He likes RE. Is that OK?”
That’s pretty much a first – someone who likes RE is a rare being. I chose not to explore why Billy likes RE. A quick glance at pupils surreptitiously sharing sweets and Roy playing with the blinds gave a clue or two.
So Billy came back – because he likes RE. He doesn’t know his middle name is now Tychius.
Not done with Tychicus he showed up again at 4.00 pm. This time I did the phoning to check it was OK to turn up at the “For The Right Reasons” publishing office. I had been mildly rebuked for just turning up and putting people under pressure. It was just my presence that did it, not my words or actions. They are publishing my poetry book “Wider Than The Corners Of This World”.
It is a very busy place. Publishing there isn’t something “done” to you. Computers are available for you to do your own formatting, correct your own mistakes or even write the book in the first place. There are rarely more than a few familiar faces. But I like it there! It is full of positive energy.
Kevin, who is the ICT genius, had not been well for a while. It was nice to see him there yesterday looking a little better.
He placed my book – the third proof – with a cover and a blurb on the back – into my hand. It is a third proof and not the finished version yet. We had talked about illustrations for some of the poems and this copy had them in place.
I can remember distinctly sitting outside of a courier office sometime earlier this year, in my car, with a box of books from a printer down in Englandhsire. The box contained the paperback version of the poetry book that a Welsh publishing company had produced. There had been no proofs apart from a series of computer generated snapshots. My computer didn’t really have the right software to see the pages properly. The book fell very short of my expectations. I remember sitting in the car in the car park outside the courier off ice and crying. Disappointment seems too bland a word to describe how I felt.
The book Kevin gave me yesterday is not there yet. He will not print anything that I am not 100% happy with, or that he is not 100% happy with. We have reached about 90% on the happiness scale.
This time, yesterday, I sat in the car, in the car park just around the corner from Kevin and the crew and I wasn’t disappointed. I actually wanted to grab a passer-by, thrust the copy of the book I had in my hand, my third proof, into their hands and say, “This is a great book! It’s full of really great poetry. And I wrote it.” This is not a book for hiding in the attic.
We all need a Tychicus to turn up during our days to encourage our hearts. We need to recognise him when he comes. We need to thank God for the encouragement that he brings!