People don’t write letters much anymore. We use social media to give little updates to the world about what’s going on in our lives. No matter where in the world we may travel, it’s almost always possible to connect to the internet to post our pictures. That’s nice in many ways. But I think maybe we’ve lost an art form.
The Old Way
In the olden days, before there was an internet and cell phones, we wrote letters and sent postcards to our friends and loved ones. I have some old letters written during the Civil War to one of my ancestors. The writer fought on the battlefield and the recipient ran the family farm in Missouri during his absence. The missing piece of information is whether or not our soldier returned home alive. If he did, no more letters would be necessary. If he didn’t, they wouldn’t be necessary either. Letters were for keeping in touch when separated.
But letters were sometimes written when people were not separated. My husband and I wrote letters back and forth the summer we were engaged and living in different states. But returning to college to spend all our free time together did not stop our letter writing and card sending. I have a rubber band-wrapped bundle of them, proving we each thought of the other almost every moment of every day. And we wasted no opportunity to communicate our love, whether in person or in letters or cards.
Did you know God writes letters, too? He does! In 2 Corinthians 3:3 we read about His letters: “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us [Paul], written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” God’s letter is not written on paper, or stone tablets like the Ten Commandments, but on our hearts.
We are the “paper” and the “ink” is the Holy Spirit. What does this letter say? What would the Holy Spirit write on us that He wants other people to read?
I can think of several things.
- A return address–we belong to Him. I am a bonafide citizen of His kingdom and have a residence waiting for me in heaven.
- Truth–I know the truth because I know God. He puts truth in my heart and I speak truth when I speak or write a message from Him.
- Fruit–maybe drawn in pictures. But the fruit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The ink is the Holy Spirit, but He is invisible. The visible is the blood of Jesus Christ. Like invisible ink that only shows up when you color over it, these invisible writings only become visible when the blood of Jesus “colors over us.” When we believe and accept His sacrifice for us and surrender ourselves to Him, then the invisible things that the Holy Spirit gives us become visible to people around us. The letter that is us gets read.
Your Life Letter
What does the letter of your life say? Has God’s writing gotten smudged or worn away by time and failure to pay attention? My family heirloom letters are difficult to read in spots just because they are so old. But in other spots, a bit of moisture blurred the words–maybe tears? And there is grime from fingers that folded and unfolded them to read them over and over again. How carefully do you treat God’s writing on your life? How special is his letter on your heart? How easy or difficult is it for others to decipher the writing?
I think I’ll be paying closer attention to mine from now on.
by Kathryn Graves