I’m an old soul.
Last week and this we’re reading books like Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and 1 & 2 Corinthians. I say “books,” but in reality they are letters. Letters from Paul to friends he’d met on the road. Communities of people who’d become like family after doing some life together. So Paul wrote them letters. Loooong letters, but rich ones. And it makes me miss the days of letter writing.
I know we have email. And voicemail. And texting. But I miss the days when I’d run to the mailbox, fling open the rusty metal door, and pull out bulging envelopes filled with page after page of handwritten scrawl. It didn’t occur to me at the time that a day would come when old-fashioned letter writing would be a relic of the past.
But here we are.
When reading the Bible, it’s easy to forget that the recipients of Paul’s letter didn’t hold a finely typed, thin page of 8 1/2 X 11. They received a hand-written note, with ink on parchment or some other kind of medium. Smudges of the day’s dinner likely polluted the page, as well as a few tear stains when the moment called for it. Chances are, Paul’s penmanship was horrendous. Just a gut feeling based on his high-intensity, multi-tasking personality.
But I doubt the recipients of his letter cared in the least. I imagine they gathered around, held their collective breath, and appointed the best orator of the group to share his carefully crafted encouragement out loud. And then every last one of them — inspired, challenged, and encouraged to live better for Christ — turned and walked home with a smile on his face.
Why? Because good old-fashioned letter writing is serious medicine for the soul.
When’s the last time you gave the gift of a letter?
- Day 337 (Monday): 1 Corinthians 15-16
- Day 338: 2 Corinthians 1-4
- Day 339: 2 Corinthians 5-9
- Day 340: 2 Corinthians 10-13
- Day 341: Romans 1-3, Acts 20
- Day 342: Romans 4-7
- Day 343: Romans 8-10
I often think I should send so and so a note, a hand written, sent in the mail note. There is something real and intimate about one.
I save notes I have received from friends to re-read when I am feeling discouraged. We don’t tend to save emails and they don’t have the closeness of a note or letter. I say it is time to revive this old fashioned way of communicating.
I agree! I got a handwritten letter from a friend a few weeks ago and it was great. While I cheated and typed my response on Word, I still signed it and and put it in snail mail.
My mother passed away in 2002. As I was unpacking from a move (still unpacking after 4 months!) I found a card with a letter in it from my mother written in 1998. Her birthday was in October and she thanked me for the flowers I had sent and some other news. It was like traveling back in time.
Oh, Susan. How beautiful! I love that you found your mother’s letter. What a gift. Thanks for sharing this.