I’ve always loved letters; real ones of course, on real paper written with a real pen. As a child I had various pen pals. We used to send each other stickers and cheap necklaces, cramming as much into the envelope as we could, anticipating the day when the reply would arrive; a treasure in the mailbox.
In high school, my friends and I used to write each other letters; copious sheets of A4 note paper, containing secrets about boys and folded into tiny packages to be passed discreetly beneath desks.
As email rose to power the traditional letter gradually faded like a flower, and I would hardly know how long it’s been since I received one, that is, until last night.
Church was about to start when a long-time friend of mine handed me an envelope. Accustomed to receiving various birthday invites at church, I quickly opened it, only to discover two sheets of lined paper torn out of a notebook, covered with hand written words. Even before I read it I was touched. After I read it, I was speechless. This friend had taken the time out to write me a letter of encouragement; telling me that she was thinking of me and of ways in which I had inspired and encouraged her, and she’d done it, quite intentionally, by hand.
I was reminded, once again of the beauty of this almost-lost art.
This week, why not encourage someone with a hand written letter? I’m going to.