Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Show Them You Care....

by Deanna



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


11 comments:

Carol said...

I couldn't agree more. I have a wonderful aunt who write to me from time to time, and I treasure her thoughts - which I can save and reread forever. I will have evidence forever that she loves me! And I love that! Im going to go home tonight and write someone!

terriporter said...

Isn't it a shame that this custom has fallen by the wayside? I also get fewer and fewer Christmas cards each year and I look forward to them so much, to hearing about everyone's families and activities. When my kids were young, I wrote long letters to my mother and she would turn them over and answer on the back and send them back to me. At the time I thought she did it just because she thought it was wasteful to just write on one side of the paper but now I see what she had in mind. I have not only her letters to me but mine to her. I have a couple of shoe boxes of them and they are treasures. But sadly, we don't write anymore, we call. Yes, it's wonderful to hear her voice but once I hang up, I can't go back and "reread" it like I could a letter. Thanks for the reminder, Deanna, that we shouldn't let the art of letter writing pass into oblivion. As Carol said, I'm going to write a letter to someone today. xoxo

Dotti said...

This is so very true, Deanna! I remember when my mother wrote to us faithfully each week, at least, and I responded. Did I save them? No. You will be happy to know I just finished writing my mother a real honest to goodness snail mail note! You know the other by product of this? Our penmanship has deteriorated. I used to have quite nice penmanship but now I'm so keyboard bound, a pen feels like a foreign object when I need to write cursive - or even sign my name. Yes, it's a sad thing. But we can each do our small part and send a note or two by snail mail to a friend or relative each week. Thanks for the nudge!

Dotti said...

Oh! And I love your notecard!

Patti G said...

I have a drawer of note cards for just this purpose! I love getting snail mail in someone's handwriting, so I always try to share my love for that by sending cards for no reason other than to hopefully brighten someone's day.
This is a true, but vanishing, art form.

Susan said...

Deanna, you hit on a subject that Im very compassionate about! Call me "old school" but I miss those days, listening for the phone to ring, and getting a note, letter or card in the mail. I guess we all saw it coming, when we logged into our old computers to hear the words..."You Got Mail"lol! This is something that I wish would continue because text, email or messages on fb, just aren't personal enough. Sure you have the option of adding the emoji smiley face, but its just not the same. Maybe us old school folks can bring this important subject to our younger generation? Naw, I don't think so either lol! Just not convenient enough for such a busy young life! Thanks for sharing!

Barb said...

I often still write notes and letters - I think they touch people in a way that our tech-savvy world doesn't. People know you took the time to put your thoughts on paper and then (in my case) travel to the PO for mailing. My best friend often sends me a random letter - sometimes using a card I've previously sent her. We laugh at how many times some of the cards have traveled back and forth between us (plus, it's fun to see what we wrote in the "other" times). Now, I'm going to get a notecard and write to a blog friend whose father just died. Thanks for reminding me, Deanna.

Sarah Huizenga said...

I know we hardly got any Christmas cards either this year. I use to hand make at least 100 every year, back when I was my busiest. Now I don't sent any, what happened. Although I do feel my blog is my letter to my friends every time I post.

Cathy H. said...

I miss the notes and cards that used to come in the mailbox. Now, it's only bills. We got very few Christmas cards this year and I think that's rather sad. I still send Christmas cards and add special handwritten notes to my family. Emails, FB messages and texts just aren't the same.

Kelly Kardos said...

This post is do beautiful Deanna. I'm slowly getting back into letter writing. I use to collect stationary as a teenager- I was a big letter writer. I think I'm going to keep my blank cards and envelopes close at hand so when the mood strikes me I can act. My ex MIL, whom I adore, is failing in health and I've been meaning to write her-today I will. Co

kelly said...

yes deanna...you have hit the nail on the head. this year my word is 'connect' and one of the things i want to do is send more snail mail. nothing fancy or homemade - just a simple card with some kind words. thank you for the inspiration!

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