Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) was a famous English poet. She was the eldest of twelve children in a well off family. Her life however, had its share of heartache. Illness at age 15 permanently affected her health. She had a dominating father and her mother died when Elizabeth was 22. In 1840 she lost two of her younger brothers; Samuel died of fever in February of that year while her beloved brother Edward was tragically drowned in a sailing accident in July.
Through her poems she attracted the attention of another poet, who was to eventually become her husband, Robert Browning. Knowing her father would disapprove of their relationship they courted and married in secret. After their marriage in 1846 they made their home in Italy.
While still in France on honeymoon she received along with correspondence from her brother George what she called her ‘death warrant’ which was a letter from her father. He disinherited Elizabeth. Her letter to him was returned unopened. In 1851 when Elizabeth and Robert visited London, England they sought in person what she had attempted by pen only to be disappointed. Rather than reconciliation with her father she received back five years’ worth of her letters all unopened. These letters, it seems, are no longer having been destroyed in the 1920’s by a nephew. How hard and closed Mr Barrett’s heart must have been to the appeal and affection of his daughter.
God has written a book. The Bible is His word to mankind. In it He appeals to us. Indeed, among its contents are the twenty two ‘letters’ of the New Testament which bring to a climax God’s great purpose for man – Reconciliation. God desires that we who have been alienated by sin be reconciled to Him through Christ who ‘made peace through the blood of His Cross’ – Col 1 v 20. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5 vs 20-21: ‘Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him’.
Sadly, God’s appeal goes unheeded by many because His book remains unopened while their hearts stay firmly closed.
The Lord Jesus said:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” – Rev 3 v 20.