I know using the postal service, "snail mail" as it is sometimes referred to, is old school to many. I do like the ability to instantly text or email someone, but I also LOVE receiving fun surprises in the mail. As my birthday draws near, I wonder who will remember me with a card and I check the mail carefully each day. Christmas cards, though becoming something of the past, are one of my favorite things! I keep them for a couple months after December, praying for the families and rereading their Christmas letters.
I get annoyed with all of the junk mail that immediately finds its way into the recycle bin, cringe at the bills which get placed in the to-be-paid pile, and sort through the ads and circulars looking for the best deals (which just increase the bill piles). However, I have a soft spot for the surprises that occasionally show up. I have had a few of those surprises related to my book, Common Ground. The first one that showed up in my mailbox out of the blue was a package of tea from Sri Lanka. Someone who was reading my book while traveling abroad enjoyed the chapter called "A Cup of Tea," and was kind enough to think of me! WOW! The next surprise came when a young lady, recent college grad, who had just finished a 6 months mission trip to Costa Rica, sent me some chocolate covered coffee beans (YUM!). We had been communicating about her trip, and she is actually the subject of one of my stories in Solid Ground (coming fall of 2019).
The next surprise arrived three days ago. I had interviewed a couple for my upcoming project. That afternoon when the mail arrived, there was a small card addressed to me. I figured someone was extending an invitation to a shower or conveying thanks for a shower gift (I've had a few of those lately). The strange thing was I didn't recognize the address. It was from someone in Virginia. Curious, I tore open the envelope and read the message inside. It was from someone who had received my book from her daughter. She had read through it once and was now reading it again in more detail with her husband. She thanked me for my writing and obedience to God. She'll never know what a gift her note was for me! The interesting thing about it was that her daughter was the one I had interviewed earlier in the day. Neither one knew anything about the others endeavors. It was a serendipitous moment!
When my husband and I were first dating, we had a summer apart. We were both involved in summer work and travels that separated us throughout these few months. We had exchanged our itineraries, and I would arrive at a destination with anticipation of a letter from him. It would usually contain information about what he had been doing, but it always ended in declarations of his affection for me. It was a special part of our relationship that helped solidify our love for each other. On one occasion, I was so excited about receiving one of his letters, that I fell back onto the bed in my room in a feigned swoon. I guess I didn't plan well because I hit the back of my head soundly on the headboard. No stitches were required, but I did get a pretty big bump!
Our written words are important to others. Whether in an on-line post or in the U.S. mail, people need words of affirmation. I think that's what I treasure so much about God's love letter to us. He tells it like it is, nothing but truth! Sometimes it is the discipline in our lives that we need, but more often than not, He is affirming us as His children. He pours out His love for us through His story of His life, death, and resurrection power. He lets us know in so many ways how loved we are! When I am feeling weak or defeated, He speaks strength into my day. When I am feeling unlovable and discouraged, He reminds me I'm a valued child of the King. We should look forward to reading His love letter each day more than heading to the mailbox or searching Facebook posts. He wrote it for you and me! Let's get reading!