“So encourage each other and build each other up,” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
The age of technology, the advent of word processors and even more recently, things like Microsoft Word, have made hand written letters an almost obsolete past time. Yet there is something uniquely satisfying about going to the mailbox and finding a letter handwritten and addressed to you. Especially if it’s not your birthday or mother’s day! Even more heartwarming is a letter from someone you thought you barely knew, affirming their care and concern for you.
Thankfully one of our middle daughters is teaching our grandson the importance of letter writing (and even more importantly thank you cards!). Each Sunday he, together with his little sister, sits down and writes a note to me. Of course he writes and she, at the ripe old age of one, happily splashes color all over the paper with her markers! But to go to the mailbox each week and find inside those little envelopes of happiness makes the miles between us melt away.
It occurred to me recently that while I was happily receiving those notes perhaps my grandson might like to find out how it feels to get notes in return. So I began taking a few moments each Sunday afternoon to write back to him. I bought a box of inexpensive age appropriate cards together with some cute stickers for the outside of the envelope. The message in my first card to him was how much I appreciated the time he took to write to me and how I stored the letters in my nightstand next to my bed. Imagine my delight when the next letter from him told me that he now stored my letters in his nightstand!
When we were at my sweet mother-in-loves house last Thanksgiving, she pulled out some letters that my sweetheart had written to her during his time in Iraq and other places overseas. She had kept them, tied with a ribbon, in a box in her closet. This brought tears to our eyes as we realized the incredible connection we feel when we hold in our hands the words a loved one has taken the time to put down on paper. It was such a blessing to see my sweethearts face when he realized those words he had written during a time of war had truly been a comfort to his mother.
While it is surely much easier to send a quick text or an email, it is so much more personal and meaningful to take the time to write a note or send a card. It tells the person receiving it that they matter to you. That time taken to put thoughts to paper is also a reminder of just how much you value your relationship with the other person. Many of us are geographically separated from our children and grandchildren. A handwritten note can make the miles slip away, especially for young children.
Dearest Father God, I thank You for my mother, who taught me that writing letters and thank you cards was a part of life I must not neglect. Thank You for those teachers who taught us how to put words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs and create a relationship with those far away through letters. I thank You for the opportunity to share Your Word with my grandchildren in the letters we send back and forth. Please help me to know who could use a letter of friendship or affirmation today. Bring their names to my heart. I pray these things in the Name of Christ Jesus, Amen
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.