Letters to My Friend

 

1 John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

Dear Friend,

One of my earliest childhood memories was sitting beside my mother at our picnic table in Ethiopia "writing" a letter to my Gramma Hoover. My mom was writing to her mother and I wanted to write my own letter. When I was finished I handed my mom my letter as wanted her to send it along with hers. My mom looked at the little slip of paper I had filled with organized scribbling and asked me what it said. I told her what I had "written" because I knew in my mind what it all "said." She couldn't include my letter because she was using a form letter and was not allowed to enclose anything in it because it would go air mail at a special rate. I think she promised to save it to give to Gramma later or send another time. But, that day my love of writing letters was born and there was no looking back.

I loved writing and receiving letters from my pre-teens through my twenties. Sadly, with the birth and growth of the internet and electronic communications, letter writing largely fell by the wayside. For some time email was a part of my life, but eventually even that became a struggle. I suspect this is partly because of all the junk mail and business mail that comes in in droves, along with the fact that I often find it difficult to just keep up with all the internet stuff I am expected to do or want to do - communicating regularly with family and friends, Facebook, blog posts, this web site, and whatever else there might be, in addition to various other things like research and health-related needs and online shopping (which I do quite a bit because going shopping in stores is a challenge for me). Plus there are all the unnecessary distractions. <sigh>

Still, writing letters is a first love on my life, and after reading a couple books in the epistolary (letters) format, I got inspired. I had thought a little about writing in a letter format already, but the most recent book made me think about it more seriously and consider the advantages of writing some thoughts as I were writing to a specific friend. I think that I might feel more comfortable writing about some subjects in this way so, it seemed worth trying at least.

Obviously when I write some of these letters I will have a specific person in mind. Other times I may be essentially writing to myself, or to a group of people at large. Sometimes this will be self-evident and other times perhaps not so much.

The Lord chose to use letters to individuals and specific groups to teach us in scripture, in fact, He even gave those letters under inspiration. Of course, my letters are not inspired! But, I know that it can be a useful means of teaching for His glory and I hope this effort will be that.

Because Jesus loves you,
Mary E. Stephens

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graphics and backgrounds by Mary Stephens