Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,” 1 Corinthians 1:4.
In Sunday School this weekend, we’re going to be learning about Paul’s letters. That got me thinking about letters and mail in general. When was the last time you got a letter in the mail? An actual letter, written specifically for you? My guess is that it’s been a while. There’s something kind of magical about getting a personal note in the mail. It just makes you feel good, knowing that somebody took the time to sit down and write their thoughts to you.
My grandfather, also named Paul, was a letter writer. He was very skilled at putting thoughts and feelings on paper. We have several of his letters saved away. Some are in a cedar chest, some are filed away or tucked into books, and one in particular is framed and hanging on a wall in my home. This is a letter that he wrote to his mother in 1943, when he was stationed in Italy during World War II:
Down through the years
Some mother’s son
Has tried and never found
The words to tell just how he feels
About his dear old Mom.
So bear in mind as you read on
Your son can’t even start
To put in words the love for you
That lingers in his heart.
If I was starting life anew
And God said, choose your mother,
You’d be my Mom the same as ever,
For I would have none other.
In a war torn world
I’ve often found
Temptation close at hand,
But always, Mom, with help of God
I feel your guiding hand.
Because you taught me right from wrong,
My conscience will be clear
When I return to you dear Mom,
And those I hold so dear.
I can’t repay the debt I owe
For all you’ve done for me,
But, Mom, you have my fondest love
Through all eternity.
Your son, Paul
That letter from halfway around the world was so meaningful for our family that it’s been shared through five generations. My aunt took the time to rewrite it in calligraphy and frame it for us to remember and appreciate. The words that he wrote have powerful meaning.
Paul wrote letters to communities near and far, sharing the love of God and the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul encouraged followers with his letters. He offered guidance and support. His letters brought hope.
I think we need to bring back the art of letter writing. It doesn’t have to be poetry like my grandfather wrote, but personal thoughts and kind words can have a great impact. Imagine the joy that will be felt by the recipient when your letter, card, or note is pulled from the mailbox.
Let’s follow the examples of Paul and Paul, and start writing words of appreciation, encouragement, hope, and love.