“You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.” - Jane Austen
I've always had a charming scene in my mind where I envision my days at a beautiful old- fashioned secretary, sunlight glowing through the windows, billowy sheer curtains flowing in the breeze. I'd sit and write, sharing ideas and scripture and anecdotes about life with all the friends we've met living and traveling all over the globe. The environment where I write and read is vastly different than that of my imagination, but connecting through letters still nourishes my soul with a depth I crave.
In the age of quick glimpses through facebook and instagram, we may very well be the most connected ever, have the most up to the minute information about one another's lives and yet in all our knowing, lack the intimacy that is at the very core and heart of beautiful friendship.
It has been said that those who write letters, are often the people who may not need to. Meaning, at the very essence of letter writing is a personality that excels at the art of communication. While this is likely true, I stand firmly on the side of the line that believes there is a great need to cultivate this art, and to practice a ministry of connection and encouragement through the written word. Excellence rarely trods through the room on its own, it must be carried in by a series of small choices that willfully chose something "other," and differ in the investments made by common will.
52 Weeks + 52 Letters + 52 Hearts
We start off our New Year with lists and to-dos and ideas swirling about how to live better, do more, to grow and change to fit into the shape of life we hold in our minds eye don't we? I want to be more well read, more disciplined, have toned biceps (all good things, for sure!) Somewhere along the shuffle of forming my own goals for 2014 though, I realized just how much they were about, well...me.
What if the very fabric of a beautiful 2014 lies in the pouring out of my life, not the bolstering of it? What if the way that I will see clarity of purpose and calling and growth is in a simple offering? What if 2014 is the year to reclaim the art of heart connection with souls in my sphere and under my care?
So, I'm writing 52 letters this year. One each week.
I'm actually writing and stamping and mailing a humble offering of 52 pieces of paper to touch 52 hearts. I'm trusting that God will give me words to shine light in the darkness of winter, to pour out in ink the beauty I see in sisters and brothers and families, to be hope and community. In my own places of quiet, may He bring ideas and literature and truth from his Word that can be copied into pages offered up as a meal for the heart to my friends.
The bolstering of others is what I want this year to be about.