Sunday, January 13, 2008

Meeting Rowan and The Lost Art Of Letter Writing

You've got mail!

Now I am not talking about the "sappy quote, forward and your wishes will come true " type . Yesterday, I received the good old fashioned kind. A hand written card with a personal note and some photos. Below is my favourite.

I love to write letters and send pictures in the mail. I use to hand write several letters a week. Recently, I have let the practice slip and I miss it. Many people are surprised when they receive a letter or card in the mail from me. It seems that letter writing has become a lost art. I love this reflection on the subject by the late Henri J.M. Nowen.

As I was writing letters today, I realized that writing letters is a much more intimate way of communicating than making phone calls. It may sound strange, but I often feel closer to friends I write to than to friends I speak with by phone.

When I write I think deeply about my friends, I pray for them. I tell them my emotions and feelings. I reflect on our relationship, and I dwell with them in a very personal way. Over the past few months I have come to enjoy letter writing more and more. In the beginning it seemed like a heavy burden, but now it is a relaxing time of the day. It feels like interrupting work for a conversation with a friend.

The beauty of letter writing is that it deepens friendships and makes them more real. I have also discovered that letter writing makes me pray more concretely for my friends. Early in the morning, I spend a little time praying for each person to whom I have written and promised my prayers.

Today I feel surrounded by the friends I am writing to and praying for. Our love for each other is very concrete and life giving. Thank God for letters, for those who send them, and for those who receive them.

-Henri J.M. Nowen

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