When my husband and I were dating we had a long distance relationship
during the summer break. It stunk. Needless to say, absence did make the heart grow fonder and we wrote letter after letter after letter to each other. Clearly, this was pre-email. Yes, I am that old. At this point, my daughter would ask if a pony delivered our mail.
I cherished his letters. I still have them tucked away wrapped up with a ribbon. Sometimes he would write me during his breaks at work and only have a napkin to use as paper, but he would write a letter on that napkin and mail it anyway.
I think I drove our mailman nuts because I would wait for him to show up and then just stare at him as he stuffed our box. Then I would dash like a madwoman and tear through the mail discarding all my parents’ bills and junk mail all through the house till I found something addressed to me. I read those letters over and over and over during those long summer days. I would hang on every word and evaluate every sentence. I could almost hear Dave's voice through his pen especially when he was saying something funny. I like to believe that our letters kept our relationship alive during the long wait for the next semester to begin.
When my daughter started school and I began to make her sack lunch everyday, I would write on her napkin a little note telling her that I loved her or “Have a great day!” A month into school, I cleaned out her backpack to find every one of those napkins tucked away. I asked her why in the world she kept her napkins. She responded, “Because they were notes from you, mom.”
If you are anything like me, you struggle with throwing away your kids art work especially when it is something sentimental. My son loves to draw pictures of our family together, and in every picture we are all holding hands. One of these days, he will deny this so I’m writing it down and laminating the proof that he loved his parents and his sister so much.
All these ‘love letters’ are precious to me. There is something special about them.
I wish so much that I could treat scripture like my love letters because essentially that what scripture is. These letters, these compilations from believers of the past, are our connection to an experience that we will never witness physically.
Scripture shares with us the word of our God, yet we so quickly dismiss studying it or memorizing it. We even make fun of some believers for carrying bibles with them everywhere or even carrying bibles in to worship. We hesitate to quote it out of fear. We discount learning it. We don’t believe it applies to us. We don’t believe the authors understand us. We question it's relevance.
My mother made me carry my bible into worship every Sunday morning and Wednesday night starting as early as age three. It became another appendage to me. I am thankful for that. I want the same for my children.
I can already hear the naysayers saying, “Bible knowledge won’t get you into heaven.” You are right. It won’t. But I don’t want to stand before my creator and say, “Oh, I had your love letter. I just didn’t have time or care enough to learn about your sacrifice. You’ll forgive me, right?”
Furthermore, I refuse to teach my children that scripture is unimportant in their walk of faith and I find it alarming that so many parents disregard scripture in their children's spiritual education entirely. Shame on us.
If I knew that my sweet husband never read the letters I sent him it would crush me, even now, fifteen years later. If I knew that my daughter never cared about those napkins I sent to school with her, it would make me cry. If I thought for one second that my sentimental son didn’t know how much I cherish his drawings it would kill me.
Don’t I owe my Creator and my Savior and the men who walked before me some attention?
God help me to read your words. Help me to dive in and study every single letter, chapter, verse, and word. Help me to commit to know you. Help me to write your words on my heart and the hearts of my family. Father, speak to me through your love letters.