During a recent trip to Atlanta for the Festival of Homiletics, I had dinner with an old friend, the wife of a Navy pilot buddy of my husband’s. We are able to do this every few years and it is such joy. We spent 3 hours talking non-stop about the changes in our lives, so different from the early days of careers and raising children and changing squadrons. Now we talk of retirement and grandchildren and the surprises our bodies bring! A few days after returning home, I had a thank-you note from her, which brought back all the joy of our time together. To read her note was to hear her voice again and to know that we are still connected, after all these years.
But it caused me to think about writing such notes, about how it seems to have fallen out of favor, replaced by the email or text, messages too short and in type, messages that just don’t carry the same meaning as a note in a dearly-loved, familiar handwriting. Reminded me of how good it was to find a letter from my husband when he was deployed or a letter from my mother when we lived far away from them. Reading such a note, I could see them, sitting at a grey metal desk on the ship or sitting on the sofa at home, pen in hand, spending time with me in thought and spirit. I could see them and feel loved, cared for, remembered.
I used to keep a journal in which I wrote down every day, one thing I was thankful for, as a way of writing a thank-you note to God. I wonder why I stopped?