I have, quite recently, discovered the joy of handwriting letters. As my mother would say, its a sign of maturity! ;) Several friends [*cough Megan, Hannah, Robert, Courtney, Molly, Daniel cough*] have tried to convert me in the past, writing me letters, sometimes up to 10 or more, before coming to the sad realization that, alas, I was not writing in return. And it wasn't because I wasn't fascinated by mail coming to me [really? mail for me? in the box? as in, i can hold it in my hand and see their penmanship?!?! WOW!]. And it wasn't because I didn't love them and wish them that same joy as well. Instead, it was due, in large part, to laziness. And lack of stamps.
Sometimes, I would get a letter, and immediately run upstairs to write back. Often, I would get as far as the stairs. Then, something or another would catch my attention. Or, if it was really special, I would have even written the letter and stuck it into an envelope, with their name written prettily upon the front. [No address? its a shame.] I have run across probably 4 or 5 of these while cleaning out papers on my desks. No, I cannot put all the blame on missing addresses or empty stamp holders.
The real problem was this: I had nothing of importance to say. After all, there is only so far a conversation can go on the latest picture taken, or hike in the woods, before it must either die or go deeper. And I had nothin' in my noggin! Oh, I was reading: but wouldn't you rather read a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys for yourself, than have someone recap it for you? And I was listening intently in church: but sermon notes only go so far if you aren't really learning from them.
Frankly, I was stuck.
But God is so good- My life took several major turns, during which time I did not write, not because I had nothing to say, but because I was learning how much better it is at times to listen. And now I am writing again. I am definitely still listening- that lesson I pray will not have to happen again, but will remain with me. But I can write again, and find joy in sharing with my loved ones what I daily am being taught by My Father. And now I see- what a blessing it is to write handwritten letters!
Therefore, I encourage you [oh people who happen upon this post]: write, and learn to write! but don't write emptily- write with a heart and passion for Christ. Copy what you read in Scripture; learn to write as David and Solomon, and the saints who have gone before us, and those who are still with us! to do so, to really learn to write, you must read. Read The Valley of Vision, prayers from fellow Christians who have already gone on, but left us a great legacy in writing. Read Augustine, Calvin, Knox, Luther, Fox's Book of Martyrs, read men and women, and of men and women, who, though fallible and sinners just like us, loved the Lord so much and devoted all of their time to passing down for future generations [for us! and our children!] what knowledge and wisdom they had gained! Don't be foolish in thinking, as we younger generation so often do, that we must learn "from experience" , and try and live on our own [limited] wisdom and knowledge and experiences. "Experience is a dear teacher", meaning hard, not beloved. Learn from the past to affect your present and change the future. grow upon it, not starting your own little building, but build upon the foundations already set down for you!
I encourage you: learn to love handwritten letters. :)