Something that this new generation is missing is a bundle of letters tied up, hidden away in a bottom drawer or in a shoe box on the top shelf of the closet. No one writes letters anymore. We stay in touch by emails and text messaging.
You can’t bundle emails or text messages with a red ribbon, re-read them until they tear at the creases, start to brown from exposure and smear because of your tears. Oh, you can lock them so they aren’t erased, file them away on your computer….but there is just something about pulling those old letters out from under the bed and re-reading them when your heart is broken or you are missing the one that wrote them.
When I was going through my mother’s things after her death, I found a box in her closet. I had seen it before, but it was her closet and I had tried really hard not to snoop, but this time, I needed to look inside. It was a beautiful, satin covered box held together with a ribbon. I pulled it down just days after her funeral and found treasures. I sat down in the closet and gently lifted the lid.
It was full of letters, tied with a ribbon.
I knew instantly what they were because when I was a teenager and did snoop, I found them in her hope chest…letters written by both my parents, when they were dating. They talked about how much they loved each other and the plans they were making for their future. There were terms of endearments that I had not heard them share in public and I felt like I was intruding on their intimate thoughts.
I left the letters as I had found them and took the box to my dad. He held the box and with tears in his eyes, said that he would read them on his own. He told me later that he wanted me to read them; he wanted me to share in his memories. I’ll read them one day, but for now, I’ll leave them in the box.
I thought of my own letters, not in a box, but stuffed in a journal. Memories come back so quickly when I read the letters written to me from my true love, full of details of how he was preparing for the day we would marry and he would bring me to our new home. I read those letters when I feel a distance growing between us (that sometimes happens after 25 years of marriage) and I need to remember our first love.
As I thought about that box of treasures, I was reminded of what I’ve always taught children in regards to the Bible.
The Bible is a collection of letters, love letters so to speak, written from the One that understands and loves us better than anyone. It’s full of the plans the Groom has for His bride.
I’ve started reading the Bible as if it was written directly to me…only me…from my first love. I’ve rewritten verses, adding my name, to make it more personal. If you were to pick up my treasure box, my Bible, you might be embarrassed as the intimacy between my Love and me. You might even be a little jealous that I have such a relationship. The thing is….my Beloved wrote you the same letters.
Where are your letters? Are they on a shelf, collecting dust, in a drawer, stuffed under the bed? Maybe it’s time to pull them back out and remember your First Love.
I wanted to share just a peek with you one of my letters. It means a great deal to me.
My Darling Deborah,
This is God. I wanted you to know that I created the heavens and the earth just for you, it was the beginning of the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you, Deborah, all good things, nothing to hurt you. I put things in motion that day so that today you would have what you needed to not only survive and but thrive. I know that you have been in a dark place lately; you’ve felt much like the earth was that day…formless and empty; the darkness seems to run deep in you right now. But, Deborah, I want you to know that my Spirit is hovering over you, just waiting for my Word, so that a new creation will begin in you. I’m going to bring light and order into your world, I promise and, my dearest Deborah, you know that I always keep my promises.