Gifts of relationship, friendship
Who knew that April has been designated by someone National Card and Letter Writing Month?
Personally, I’m for it. I love to both receive and write letters and cards. This is not to say that I’m as faithful to the practice as I am fond of the concept.
I’m especially mindful of the salutary energy of a card or letter received having just returned from seeing our sisters in Taiwan. Sister Jenny Howard and I traveled there to conduct a Congregation meeting and to be present when our novice from Asia moved from canonical to mission novice year.
We brought with us letters and notes from sisters at St. Mary’s to sisters in Taiwan. It was heartwarming to see our sisters’ faces as they opened and read greetings and expressions of love and support from across the ocean. “Quiet joy” describes what I read on their faces.
I also carried notes and letters home with me. Although I will not see the sisters read these missives, I am certain the joy will be the same as what I witnessed in Asia.
Like most of us today, I appreciate and use electronic communication of all sorts — texts, emails; I’m even trying to get onto tweeting — though I do resist it.
Yet, I believe there’s something to be said for a handwritten communication — for a handwritten note or a short note on a greeting card. I saw on our sisters’ faces the power of written words to evoke pleasure and joy.
Perhaps, though, as in prayer, it is the one who writes who is more affected? When I sit, think about the one to whom I write and why, perhaps this enlarges my heart and deepens my appreciation for that person and her/his life.
Perhaps, as I write, I touch the presence of the one to whom I write and her/his presence touches me, affirms me, challenges me, heals me, and reminds me of the precious bonds that connect us.
Perhaps as I write I become more aware of the gifts of relationship, of friendship given to me in such abundance.
Perhaps, as I write, I become conscious of the Word who became flesh and whose love may be seeking expression in the words given to me to write.
Sister Denise, you sent me a hand-written note last year, and I can confirm that it was meaningful and much-appreciated.
I’m doing some historical research at present on Eliza Lucas Pinckney, an important figure in Colonial South Carolina. She was a indefatigable letter writer, often writing a dozen or more notes and letters per day. She and her correspondents saved her her letters, and they provide one of the few windows we have into a life at her time and place.
Perhaps because hand-written communication is so rare these days we appreciate it more. Thanks for reminding us that this quick, inexpensive expression of concern, care and love can be such a boon both to recipient and writer.
Denise, I agree totally that any written note I have received from anyone touches me deeeply not only because of the content, but especially because I know that person took a lot of time to keep in touch by mail. Phone calls are also in the same category.
Thanks for your reflection and all the others you’ve posted!