I am thrilled to share with you this post, from my new friend Amy Boucher Pye. We met in an online writer’s group and I am SUPER excited about her book coming out shortly. This post is beautiful, and as a woman who regularly texts her two sisters, I just loved it.
The Kingdom of God is Like a Handwritten Letter
Every Sunday without fail, my mom will pause to write letters to her two sisters (and when her mother was alive, to her). And they to her. They used to pen their letters by hand but now write by computer – but they print them out and mail them each week. For part of the joy is in the ritual: addressing the envelopes, applying the stamp, putting the letters in the post. And receiving “real mail” each week. Indeed, so regular is the practice that the postal people worry when they don’t see the two letters appearing on Wednesday or Thursday with the daily assortment of bills and junk mail.
Whenever I visit my parents, I read the weekly letters. My Aunt Carole’s are filled with her wit and quips (she the youngest of four); my Aunt Judy’s drip with wisdom and observations of life on the farm (she the eldest). I don’t know what my mom – middle child – puts in hers, as of course her letters aren’t lying on the kitchen counter for me to read like my aunts’ are.
These letters remind me of the Kingdom of God. They may not ooze with emotional declarations, for with my maternal family’s Swiss/German roots, the love is assumed. After all, each sister takes the time to write weekly – that’s love on a page. They document the stuff of life – doctor’s appointments and the death of a neighbor; children and grandchildren’s antics and plans for family reunions. They tell the stories of lives experienced through the details. How I’d love to have a complete set, but so ordinary and regular have these letters been that none of the sisters would have thought to preserve them. After a few days, they are recycled with the daily newspaper.
Just as my Grandma’s letters have ceased, her familiar cursive only now living in my memory and in the stack of cards and letters I’ve kept, I know that these weekly missives won’t last forever as I contemplate us all getting older. I can hardly bear the thought. I guess we won’t need written missives in heaven, for communication won’t be limited by geography. But just maybe there will be a special room holding our handwritten letters, archived beautifully, where we can peruse and reminisce.
When’s the last time you received a letter in the mail? Whom might you write to today?
Amy Boucher Pye is a transplanted American living in the UK, and a writer, speaker, and editor. Her first book appears in October: Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home & True Identity (Authentic Media). She blogs at amyboucherpye.com and tweets at @AmyBoucherPye.