This isn't a bemoaning of things lost, like in the-Disappearing-Christmas-Card but a call to revive a fledgling practice. The suggestion does not come from an older generation, but from my 19 year old son.
My son, whom I have referred to in lost-in-the-forest-of-seventeen seems to be emerging from the shadows.
In a recent letter he wrote his eldest sibling, my daughter and expressed an interest in getting to know her. And to do it through letter writing. She is 12 years his senior, grew up in California, my son in Florida. They had different childhoods and missed each other's worlds. He was 8 when she married and cried right after the ceremony because he was losing his sister before he ever got to know her.
Could this text-ing, vine-ing, emailing, instagram-ing generation be coming full circle?
Letters are treasures in Rubbermaid bins. My parents courted each other for 2 years cross-country from Massachusetts to Hollywood via letters before they married. My father's World War II letters sit neatly in a drawer. Each one describes his time in the Middle East as a Medical Ambulance driver; except for the words that were cut out by an exacto knife that may have divulged wartime secrets, should they have fallen into the wrong hands.
I have the letters his father wrote at the turn of the (1900) century chronicling his trip to Smyrna, Cairo, Lebanon and Syria working as a professor, complete with faded photographs of robed Bedouin desert shepherds.
There are my mother's letters to her parents; my father's to his that tell of my growing up. Things I barely remember, but when I read them they validate my existence. I truly once was a little girl.
It would be easy to immerse myself in these letters. But I fear leaving the present world of my husband, five children and grandchildren, whom I so want to lean into.
And what did God use to build His church with? Letters. Enduring epistles from the pen of Paul, John, Luke and Jude. He chose the humble medium of pen and paper to record His Truths, encourage Believers, teach doctrine. God made himself known, his heart and very thoughts, to those He dearly loves - through letters. They are thousands of years old, yet we read them today.
In times past, God spoke to us through laws, institutions, ceremonies, kings, judges, and prophets. But in the end of His canonized compilation, He speaks to us through
There is nothing like a handwritten note.
Telegrams were short congratulatory or directional messages.
Emails are emotionless information bites.
Text messages, even with adorable emotos, still lack heart.
Instagram is a great visual record of a minute-by-minute living.
Twitter is sometimes clever.
Facebook announces daily personal headlines; the perfect platform for bragging.
But a Letter....a letter is a window into a person's heart, a door into their most private thoughts...a view of their closest held beliefs and philosophies. A letter is lasting. Not lost in Gmail files to be deleted with the avalanche of junk mail advertisements that fall upon us everyday.
A letter is forever.
So take out the monogrammed stationery on linen paper, pick up your finest pen and in your best handwriting write a loved one. It will make their day and you just may be writing your biography and memoirs in the mean time.
Letter writing is calling us. From a 19 year old's brimming soul.
Let's answer in kind.