Not emails, not text messages — letters

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not an email, not a text, not a quick note dashed off on a sticky-note. Not even a document printed out, spell-checked, on a computer printer. A letter. Handwritten, at least a couple of pages. Thoughtful. Personal.

This may be the most anachronistic column you’ve run across in a long time, for the art of letter writing is in danger of passing into antiquity. So, anachronistic as it may be, I write to you today in praise of the long, handwritten letter.

“Snail mail” has been under attack for the past several decades, and the U.S. Postal Service reports a drop of 10 billion letters in the last 20 years. But the prospect of no longer receiving letters in the mail has me thinking about what would be lost if there were no more handwritten missives.

I have to admit that there is still something about a letter in the mailbox that is more special than a quickly dashed-off, utilitarian email. For one thing, letters take time to write, and the time is part of the gift.

When my wife and I first met and fell in love, I wrote her letters. Yes, I admit it — love letters. We were so smitten with each other, and the only way to let the pressure off all those feelings was to sit down and write (and no, I won’t let you read them).

This month we will celebrate our 24th anniversary; over all those years I have not failed to write her letters at Christmas time, on her birthday and on our anniversary. She has kept every one of them in a safe place. They now form a kind of record of our life together, reflecting on where we’ve been and what we’ve done, along with life’s inevitable joys and sorrows. They are what she would grab first if the house burned down.

And yes, if you must know, after all these years, they are still love letters.

Let me tell you about a woman named Tiffany Christman. Tiffany was partially raised by her grandmother, who died in 1998. Tiffany lived a distance away, and visited as often as she could, but she wasn’t able to see her grandmother for the two months before she died. She said, “I guess that was the hardest for me during the funeral as well, knowing that the moment had passed by for me to tell her how much I appreciated her.”

After the service, Christman, along with each of the other children and grandchildren, was handed a white envelope.

“I initially thought it was some cruel and overly efficient attorney’s way of trying to deal with paperwork at the wrong place and time,” she said. “I remember I got in the car and I saw one of my cousins holding his envelope and crying. That’s when I realized it was from my grandmother … reading her letter made me feel like she was responding to my unspoken thoughts.”

Christman has kept the letter with her ever since, “always in sight.”

Life is hectic, I know. We’re all busy. But sit down and write to someone special. It may be more of a gift than you think.

BAPTIST

PARK CITIES BAPTIST CHURCH / 3933 Northwest Pky / pcbc.org
All services & Bible Study 9:15 & 10:45. Trad. & Blended (Sanctuary), Contemporary (Great Hall), Amigos de Dios (Gym) / 214.860.1500

WILSHIRE BAPTIST / 4316 Abrams / 214.452.3100
Pastor George A. Mason Ph.D. / Worship 8:30 & 11:00 am
Bible Study 9:40 am / www.wilshirebc.org

BIBLE CHURCHES

NORTH HIGHLANDS BIBLE CHURCH / www.nhbc.net
Sunday: Lifequest (all ages) 9:00 am / Worship 10:30 am
Wed: Student Ministry 7:00 pm / 9626 Church Road / 214.348.9697

Disciples of Christ

EAST DALLAS CHRISTIAN CHURCH / 629 N. Peak Street / 214.824.8185
Sunday School 9:30 am / THE TABLE Worship Gathering 9:30 am
Worship 8:30 & 10:50 am / Rev. Deborah Morgan / www.edcc.org

PRESBYTERIAN

NORTHPARK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH / 214.363.5457
9555 N. Central Expwy. / www.northparkpres.org
Pastor: Rev. Brent Barry / 8:30 & 11:00 am Sunday Services

UNITY

UNITY OF DALLAS / A Positive Path For Spiritual Living
6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75230 / 972.233.7106 / UnityDallas.org
Sunday services: 9:00 am & 11:00 am

 


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