This morning I heard a story on the radio about two girls who became pen pals over forty years ago, as part of a school project. One was in Oregon, the other in Australia.
For all that time they wrote letters, back and forth, sharing their hearts. And finally they've met.
And what now? Facebook? Emails? Phone calls?
No. Letters. They're more powerful, both women agree.
When was the last time you got a personal letter. or even a postcard? I remember when I did. September, 2001. They were from my then-fiance, now wife, and yes, I still have them.
We exchanged emails, too, and left messages on one another's phones. But even though I meant to download the emails, they're now lost/
The phone messages eventually disappeared, too.
But the letters are still there, carrying the messages they carried thirteen years ago, and carrying the emotion of the person who wrote them in the press of pen on paper, the slant of letters and lines. Emotions I can read more clearly now, after more than a decade together.
That, I think, is the power of the written word. It's a living thing, not constrained by a cage of clocks to one moment, but allowing an interpretation ongoing, down the river of time.
Writing letters today would take discipline. It would take a deliberate effort to turn one's back on an aspect of convenience, to buy pen and paper and envelopes and stamps, and hardest of all...to wait for a reply.
But maybe l;earning to wait in this area will help us to learn to wait in others. Maybe patience is a virtue, after all, and one that we can learn...and should learn, because...
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. The shall rise up with wings as eagles. The Shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.