What kind of stuff do you keep? For me, it's anything
handwritten. I've been going through a jam-packed closet and what
I've realized is that I can't throw away cards, notes or letters
from our children, grandchildren or other relatives and
My mother was the same way. She passed away some years ago and I
still have boxes of letters and notes she saved from friends and
relatives. Maybe it's difficult for me to throw these away because
I'm touched whenever someone cares enough to handwrite a note or
letter and send it through "snail" mail.
This doesn't happen nearly as often as it did years ago. Cards
and letters have been replaced with text messages and email.
Ironically, the other day on Facebook someone lamented the passing
of cursive handwriting. In fact, there is a debate about whether
children even need to learn how to write in cursive. Someone
wondered whether future generations will even be able to read
historical documents. Yet, the written word holds the key to
powerful knowledge passed down from past generations.
Not long ago, Jim and I went to hear Kate DiCamillo, an
award-winning author of children's books. She spoke of how words
open windows to invisible worlds hidden right here, inside the
world we know. She said it is through stories we are connected to
other people and times.
I felt this connection one afternoon in a library in New
Harmony, Indiana, many years ago. This library had a vault full of
letters written by people in the 1800s. As a teacher, I had access
to those letters.
The year 1865 opened a trove of letters from a Civil War captain
to his wife and family. After reading the letters back and forth
between the Captain and his family, I felt I knew who they were.
The last letter in this file came from the Captain's commanding
officer with the sad news that this husband and father had been
killed by a sniper. For a few moments, I imagined the pain this
family felt when they opened this letter.
The thing about the written word is that it captures not only
the mind, but the heart of the writer. That's what makes Scripture
not only fascinating, but powerful. In book after book, we get a
glimpse into the heart and mind of God. And what we find is a
message of overwhelming love from the beginning with God longing
for Adam's company in Eden to the death and resurrection of
The world seems to pay less and less attention to the Bible, a
collection of letters from the Creator of the universe. Without a
grasp of Scripture, how can we ever begin to comprehend and respond
to the depth of God's love for us?