Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother.
You may be feeling this is painfully slow, and I can’t promise I will go faster as we go along because it’s however the Lord leads. But this is an important point:
Paul was not alone.
Timothy was with him. Since it is not mentioned that Timothy was also jailed, I assume this means that Timothy came to see him, maybe to bring him writing supplies, maybe to tell him the morning news, maybe to pray with him and be taught.
And Timothy was considered “our” brother, shared by Paul and Philemon. To me, it assumes some recognition of a relationship. This could have been in person – maybe they had been at the marketplace together when Paul was speaking. Or maybe there was a “house church conference” where Paul spoke. Or maybe it was just through reputation, hearing reports how the gospel was spreading. However it was, Timothy was not just Paul’s brother in Christ, but Philemon’s Brother.
But just the little fact that Timothy was with Paul makes me feel…comforted.
As an introvert, I like being alone, but I also hate feeling alone. I don’t want to be deserted, abandoned. Yes, give me a little space to have my own thoughts, but don’t ignore me.
Paul was not abandoned in prison. In God’s mercy and grace, he sent him Timothy to be with him, even as he’s writing this letter. Maybe Timothy delivered the letter? Timothy had freedoms Paul did not have. Timothy connected Paul with others.
We were not created to be alone. God saw Adam in the garden and knew it was not good for him to be alone. We are made in God’s image, and he is a triune god – 3 in one – fellowship and connection with different parts of what makes up himself. We desperately need connection.
God, in his grace and mercy, gave Paul Timothy.
It makes me wonder, Who is my Timothy? Who has God brought alongside me to comfort me, to connect me, to just be with me?