Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Real Mail

It's clean out your fridge day. Are you cleaning yours? I'm not, but I did clean the floors, so that's something. And I raked leaves. That's huge for me.

Yesterday I got a letter in the mail from the mother of one of my childhood friends. It was delightful to hear from her after all these years. We were never very close; I probably played over at this woman's house a handful of times in all those years I was in school with her daughter. But it was so nice to hear from her and sense that she's interested in what has become of me.

And it made me think, how often do I wonder about someone from my past, but don't try to make contact? Writing a letter or an email can be kind of scary. I worry that the recipient will think I'm strange, or that they won't write me back and I'll sit around feeling like they have rejected me, even though probably they thought my letter was nice but were too busy to write back. Or worst of all, maybe they won't even remember me.

Letter writing is a real ministry. There's just nothing like the feeling of a sweet note waiting for you in the mailbox when you least expect it. People don't hang onto emails, but think of all the letters you've saved over the years. I think of my cherished letters from my grandma, who used to write letters to us every week. And notes and letters from my friend who is so good at writing "real" letters.

So I'm going to write this woman back, and I'm also going to keep her letter to remind me that it's nice to get "real mail" when you least expect it. And while I'm at it, I'm going to pay it forward and write a note to someone else. I don't know who yet; maybe someone from my past or maybe someone I see regularly. If you'll join me, we can start a letter-writing campaign and resurrect a lost art.

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