Sunday, April 22, 2012

"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter . . ."

1 John 2:12
I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.

Recently, my mother gives me a manila envelope stuffed with all sorts of cards and letters exchange between her mother and herself.  There are even some notes and postcards to my grandparents from me.

I've been so preoccupied as of late, I have yet to peruse these.  But, I'm looking forward to exploring the memories.  Rekindling ones I have forgotten.  Bringing the past into the present.

A present where letter writing, pen to paper, stamp to envelope, is a dying art.

I cannot recall the last time I wrote an actual letter to anyone.  Of course, I've included short notes in birthday or Christmas cards, but nothing which I would call an honest-to-goodness letter.

I remember when going to the mailbox is actually a thrill.  When I am away at college, I am especially heartened when there is a letter from home, or from other relatives, or from my boyfriend who attends another school.

I carry the missives back to my dorm room and, like waiting for a luscious dessert, I hold off on opening them until no one else is around.  Then, I open them slowly.  Lovingly.

I feast on every word.  Reading the letters again and again.  Feeling a twinge of homesickness, yet, at the same time, so comforted.

I treasure them.

And, I save each one.

I'm certain these early Christians, the little children, to whom John writes, feel the same way.

Hanging on his every word.  Sharing the letter again and again within the community.

Treasuring it.  Finding comfort.  Reassurance.

Feeling loved.

And, because we have it today, taking great pains to save it.

As did so many other first-generation Christians.

Letters of love.  Christ's love for them.  Christ's love for us.

Alleluia and amen!
~
Can you recall the last time you wrote an actual letter?

Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for the collection of letters in the New Testament.  They teach, exhort, comfort, encourage, and guide us even today.  Let us give thanks for the apostles who wrote them and for those Christians who risked so much to keep them safe for posterity.  Amen.

Readings
Psalms 148, 149, 150 or 114, 115
Exodus 18:1-12
1 John 2:7-17
Mark 16:9-20 

22 comments:

  1. I like writing letters and I send them out to friends. I think that's why my brother gave me the job of corresponding to people ;) However, I use electronic mail rather than manual writing.

    I am very grateful for your reflection today. It brought me to think of all the authors who contributed to the Bible we are using now. And yes, also for all those who preserved these writings. We are indeed very fortunate :)

    I pray with you with a heart full of gratitude :)

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  2. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Melissa!
    Yes, we should be so grateful for these early writers and those persons wise enough to save the letters - they are older than the Gospels and give us such insight as to what life was like for the first Christians who struggled with such persecution and even death for their beliefs.
    Thank you, too, for sharing in prayer. Oh, how I love this, my dear friend!
    Blessings always!

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  3. In my first novel (due out in July) I wrote a scene in which the main character goes shopping and purchases an old-fashioned fountain pen to write letters and to journal with real ink -- not a keyboard. It's a way to slow down, reflect, and listen when you cannot hear a thing.
    I enjoyed this blog article!
    Chip

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Chip, and welcome!
      What a great scene in your novel! I will be looking forward to reading it when it comes out. Hopefully, I'll have mine out by the fall.
      Glad you enjoyed the blog!
      Blessings!

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  4. I write letters to family all the time! It is a lost art that most can't be bothered with these days though. I've always done so as it is fun to get snail mail. I will often hand make a card for family and friends too!

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by today, RoseAnn!
      Wow! That's great that you still practice the art of letter writing. I'm sure your family appreciates these, and your homemade cards, of course, much more than an e-mail. Good for you!
      Blessings!

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  5. I used to exchange letters with a friend. We purposely didn't use email. Instead, we wrote long letters, detailing our lives and current thoughts. But slowly, we got out of the habit and now we write short notes and use email most of the time. Maybe today I'll write her a long letter. It was nice receiving mail.

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in today, Myrna, and welcome!
      I think it's great that this post inspired you to return to hand-writing a letter to your friend. Makes snail-mail fun once again! :)
      Blessings!

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  6. I love writing letters and I keep every letter I get. There is something about seeing someone's handwriting - it is like getting a hug from them.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Erin Maureen!
      Oh, there is such romance in seeing the handwriting of a loved one. I never thought about it in the sense of getting a hug, but what a wonderful image this is! Thanks for sharing!
      Blessings!

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  7. I wasn't ever much of a letter writer but when I did it was a novel size...lol. I have a friend who had moved away in our teen years and we sporadically kept in touch through letters, if one of us moved and we didn't know where, we would contact each others mothers to find out. we haven't lost contact completely since we were very young, now of course we have face book and never write real letters anymore. I still have the letters I got from her and as you, I treasure them.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Jan!
      Novel size? Wow! I think it's wonderful that you have stayed in touch with your friend through all these years and saved and cherished her letters to you. They will ever hold precious memories.
      Blessings to you!

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  8. I miss receiving handwritten snail mail, Martha! I think the last time I sent and received one was when I was around 10 years old... And I would always run excitedly towards the mailbox when my grandma would tell me to check if a letter was sent by my uncle who was working in Saudi Arabia at that time, or by my aunt who migrated to Canada. Seeing their handwriting makes me feel like I'm with them when I read their letters. :-)

    I'm glad God's letters to us were piled in a book called the Bible, Martha. And those who wrote down God's words for us to read-they are a blessing. :-)

    Thank you for another beautiful reflection, Martha! God bless! :-)

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Irene!
      Oh, yes, aren't those memories of receiving precious snail mail simply the best? There definitely is something so personal and loving about someone's handwriting style that makes us feel warm all over.
      And, I, too, am so grateful for the letters in the New Testament. What would we do without them?
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  9. I have saved all the letters and cards I have received over the years. Unfortunately, I can't remember the last time I sent a letter. It's probably going to be a lost art soon.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Adrienne!
      Oh, you should see the boatload of cards and letters I've saved, too. Just can't bring myself to toss them - all hold precious memories. Glad someone else besides me does this. :)
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  10. I still send letters and I love it. I feel it is more personal than emails and so beautiful.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Nikki!
      I think it's wonderful that you still send letters the old-fashioned way. Yes, they are so much more personal and, as some have commented here, connect them, through the hand-written words, so much more closely with the person who sent them.
      So loved your latest post, my dear!
      Blessings to you!

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  11. It has been a long time, and because of your post, I'm going to write one right away that I have owed for several months. In fact, now that I think about it, I owe two letters. That was fun back in the day, wasn't it? Especially when I was corresponding with friends in other countries. I would send a letter off and wait maybe weeks for the response, which would come covered with beautiful stamps. Thanks for the motivation today!

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    1. Great to see you here, Galen! Thanks for stopping by!
      Yes, it was so much fun back in the day. Glad this post motivated you to want to write some snail mail letters once again. I'm sure your friends will be surprised and pleased.
      Blessings to you!

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  12. Martha, I loved the thrill of receiving a letter and the joy of writing one too. Words are such an important part of our lives and to have loving words that you can re-read is such a treasure. Sadly, it's never the same with email, is it?

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Corinne!
      No, e-mail is definitely not the same. I have, though, many times printed out e-mails I wish to save and re-read, but the thrill of the personal handwriting is simply not there.
      Blessings, my friend!

      Delete

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