I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. (2 John 12)

SKYPE, E-MAIL, AND TEXTING have taken the place of paper and ink and are wonderful means of communicating with family and friends who may be hundreds of miles away, but nothing takes the place of meeting with them face-to-face. Real communication is best when it includes presence.

After years of living within minutes of all of our children and grandchildren, God called us to a place of ministry that is a thousand miles away from family. We can’t go long without an e-mail, text, Facebook exchange, or Facetime on our iPhones. We look forward to these times of communication, but it is just not the same as really being with them. Our joy is only complete when either they, or we, pack up and go for a face-to-face visit.

God was the same way with His children. When “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us,” God laid aside paper and ink and in Christ came to visit us and talk face-to-face. Words took on new meaning and richness. Actions spoke louder than words. God touched us in ways paper and ink could never do.

No pen and paper or electronic means of communication can replace being face-to-face with someone you love. That is why we long to see Jesus. We can communicate with the language of the Spirit, but we long for the day when we shall be in His presence and speak face-to-face.

Make someone you really care about happy today by communicating with them personally.

Ken Heer is the author of Ancient Fire (WPH) and has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-two years.