Today we encounter st paul's letter to Philemon. The jist of the letter revolves around Onesimus, a runaway slave who may have stolen from his owner on his way out. Of course, his owner is probably Philemon.
Something happens. This useless runaway slave encounters Paul and thus encounters Christ. Their is a conversion. As St Paul states clearly in the letter, "I urge you on behalf of my son Onesimus, who's feather I have become in my imprisonment, who was once useless to you but is now useful to both you and me"
It should be noted that Christianity has the power to make bad men good. There is and must be room for improvement in everyone if we look upon them with the eyes of God. We cannot give up on anyone, for God gives up on no one.
Paul was now sending Onesimus back to where he came from perhaps to make amends and set things right.
Paul wasn't helping Onesimus to escape his past but rather to confront it and rise above it. Christianity is about conquest. We do not shirk our responsibility but rather we meet head on. Confrontation is important. There is need to bring things up and to flush things out and to urn things around.
Christianity demands we get our hands dirty.
The one thing that is striking about the letter is that Paul is not leaning on his authority as an apostles. He isn't making demands from the authority point of view but rather he is addressing Philemon on a much deeper level, the level of love and mutual respect.
Then Paul leaves off with this simple request, "refresh my heart in Christ."
What a beautiful sentiment.