Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Love letters

Image from Phil Mack Irish Country Music.

My husband Ian and I have old photos from when we first started dating, also in that box are the letters and cards we sent to each other when we lived a town away from each other. While we will have been married for eighteen years in June and have accumulated many things in that time, my favorite possessions are contained in that cardboard box.

There are so many things available in the world for us to own. So often, we begin to believe that things are the key to happiness. However,the most precious possessions for most people are not things that are found at the mall. The old treasure boxes of our lives bring back the memories and relationships represented by the contents in that box of old photos. I think I love my old box of photo's, because it helps bring those memories back to life.

I love the way the mind can recall things so vividly with the help of a photo, a familiar smell or an old letter. Letters epically have a way of cutting to the quick of what is most important to our hearts. Recently, I had the honor of receiving a letter from a dear friend of mine. Her words reminded me of all the fun we've had together over the years and were filled with encouragement for me in all I hope and dream for my life. Her letter to me helped me to call into reality, in black and white, what was before then only and idea. Letters from loved ones have a way of helping us to stay at the tasks at hand and not let go of our dreams.

There is another letter that means a great deal to me. It is full of hope, promises, wisdom, and love. This "letter" is printed on tissues paper lined in silver trim and held together in a bright red leather cover. This other "letter" that I cherish is my Bible. Sometimes I forget that the Bible really is a love letter, and it sits too long and acquires a layer of dust. Just like my old box of love letters sitting in the closet, I can forget about God's love letter to me too.

It's a part of being human, or being too busy that we get away from the practice of reading our love letters. Yet, God is waiting for us. Maybe we recall a memory of when we experienced God's grace or forgiveness, received an answer to a prayer, or were in need of some direction and then we pick up that book of love letter from God once again.

Thankfully, God is patient. The Bible is a book of love letters that will help us to grow in faith, learn how to live in a way more like Jesus and provides us a natural means of sharing God's love with others. The Bible is not just a letter to one individual, but a letter to all of humanity. When God's word becomes something that we regularly read and study, we are better equipped to love those around us. In a way, we become walking and talking love letters for God to the world around us. I'd like to think that God feels the love we have for him when we read and then live out the love letters he's given to us through the Bible.

Encouragement and love are commodities that are in great demand, but sometimes are lacking in practice. When we allow God's word to fill our hearts, we are better able to be encouraged as well as be an encouragement to others.

When is the last time that you either received or gave a love letter to someone in your life? Since I received that letter from my friend, I was reminded how important it was to let people know how I love them. I know after receiving that letter and experiencing that love for myself, that I'd love to give others that same experience. I need to be a love letter writer in my words, deeds and actions.

Dear Reader:

Thank you for reading this article. How are you doing today? I want you to know that whomever you are, I appreciate the time and energy you took to read the words on this page. I hope these words encourage you to write a "love letter" to someone in your life. Remember that God loves you and has given an entire book of love letters for you to read. May your mind be flooded with the reality of God's love for you as you open the Bible and may you have the courage to share it with someone else.

Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."


Many thanks and love,

Tara

1 comment:

Mel said...

Gosh I have a hard time believing you have them tucked away.... Mine are scattered through the house, the bitty notes on this piece of paper or that piece--and there's the memory box that hangs on the wall with all sorts of bits that pull on memories. As for the Book--it's on the nightstand. There are some things that aren't meant to be tucked away, out of sight, yaknow?