Thursday, January 12, 2017

You've Got Mail

I have been a letter writer for as long as I have been able to form letters on a page. I had several pen pals when I was growing up. I use writing as a tool of communicating what is in my heart and my head.

I remember a time when I was five or six years old and my daddy dropped me off at my grandmother's house in small town Albion. He didn't call ahead or walk me inside because Grandma was usually home. He left and I entered the unlocked house to find that she was not at home. Now, as an adult, I'm sure she would be home in a matter of minutes if I would just wait. But as a five or six-year-old, minutes seemed like an eternity. I remember calling out to her, walking around the kitchen, noticing her pitcher collection, then looking for a piece of paper and a pencil.

I wrote some sort of a note to let her know I had been there. I remember wanting it to say, "I was here" but in reality it probably was only my name or some portion of it. Even at that early age I used letters to communicate.

My mother was a letter writer. I can picture her sitting at the kitchen counter on her yellow stool, surrounded by paper, stamps, pens and envelopes, writing letters or sending cards to those she cared about. She wrote even when she was on oxygen and was confined to her chair by the big front window. I know people loved to get her letters. She blessed them with her words.

Writing letters is almost a lost art with the 'instant messaging" technology allows. Some writer friends of mine (Mary Petter Kenyon and Mary Jedlicka Humston) catalogued the blessing of letters in the book, "Mary & Me - A Lasting Link Through Ink". A letter in the mail is rare and very special.

I love to read the letters of the New Testament. Although they were written to the churches two thousand years ago, they were also written to me, a Christian in 2017. Even though we may not receive a stamped envelope in the mailbox today, we can turn to the pages of the New Testament and still be blessed by the letters that speak of instruction, of solutions, of how to live for Christ in our lives today. You've always got mail to read.

"To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:1-6 NIV).

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