Last Wednesday our Bible Study group re-gathered after the holidays to begin a study of Ephesians. Ephesians is essentially a long letter written by the Apostle Paul to the people of Ephesus encouraging them on how to live a Christian life. Paul was a prolific writer, history teaches us that he wrote 13 letters (books of the Bible) during his lifetime, many written while he was in prison.
Now don't think this is a Bible lesson, but it is a thoughtful reminder of the lost art of letter writing. We began our study with a simple question...."What kind of a letter writer are you?" It's embarrassing to admit, but I rarely write a letter. I didn't even send Christmas cards this year. And there must be others that are falling into this breakdown because my stack of cards received was lighter than last year. And there were very few "Christmas Letters". You know the kind that relives all the highlights of the year? It seems that tradition is also falling into the "used to but not anymore" custom.
We are a generation of email and texting. Phone calls are even rare. My granddaughter, who lives with me, texts me whenever she wants to communicate, which is usually daily. At least I am grateful there is communication. But the point to all of this is that we are losing that beautiful art of letter writing. I remember all the wonderful letters that I received from my mother weekly, at the time I didn't even think to save them. As the years advanced there were phone calls instead of letters. Oh what I would now give for those letters. Fortunately I was wise enough to save many of the "love letters" that my sweetie wrote to me while we were engaged. I treasure them.
Last week I received a sweet note in the mail from a friend, it was definitely the highlight of my day. There weren't many words, but I knew that she thought and cared enough to write. And I think that is the heart of writing a letter, no matter how short of a note with just a few words or a lengthy, wordy letter (we called those bread & butter letters), it demonstrates to the receiver that she is in someone's thoughts, that someone cares enough to write, put a stamp on it and mail it. Seems simple enough. When you write you can reach within your thoughts and explore exactly what you feel and want to say rather than texting something short without emotion or even a phone call where there is constant interruption of back and forth conversation. When you write sometimes you speak a whole different language, becoming more open and sometimes even a poetic part of you spills out onto the page.
As I write this post I know 2 people that I am thinking of that could use a short note, one whose mother-in-law is dying and the other has a baby granddaughter with serious heart issues. I am sending them a note as soon as I finish this post. I want to let them know that I care. Do you know of someone that could use a short note to brighten their day? Show them you care.
“How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvelous.”
― Haruki Murakami