Junk Mail!

I saw a neighbor lady’s disappointment recently. As I was driving by, she had just reached into her roadside box to retrieve the daily mail. Her expression was displeasure, if not disgust. She evidently hadn’t received what she had been anticipating. I could identify with her feelings and fallen countenance. I miss first-class “snail mail!” I admit to being old-fashioned. It comes with getting old!

“Back in the day,” has become my mantra. It bores my grandchildren and some of my peers as well to hear me start off a conversation with those four words. I can remember getting real mail. I long for those hand-written notes and even letters that used to come to my post office box. Hey, I would be glad to even get some of the type-written varieties today!

It’s not that I lack for communication pieces. Like many in this digital age, I do get copious amounts of text messages, emails, push notifications and social media postings each day and sometimes every few minutes! As one of my professors used to say, “We are drowning in a sea of words!” But, I still long for the personal touch. It takes time to sit down with paper and quill (pen, pencil and even crayon)!

I can remember receiving such personal letters written by the hand of my pastor, Archie Brown. He had a disciplined practice of weekly correspondence with family and friends. He would arrive at the church very early, sit down with paper and pen, and scratch out letters to his brother, his “Timothy in the ministry” (me!) and several others. We were blessed to receive these not-so-instant messages. I still have a collection of these in a “hard-copy” file folder. I was just reading through some of them the other day as part of my post-retirement re-organization program.

One of the things I have practiced over the years is personal thank-you notes. On occasions like pastor-appreciation month, birthdays, anniversaries, or during the holidays when I would receive a note with some cash or a gift card, I would sit down and write a note of thanks and encouragement in my own hand. I found this exercise to be my opportunity to bless those who had blessed me. Many times I heard someone tell me verbally and some days later, what that note meant to them. They thanked me for the thank-you note! It has been uplifting for me to spend time like this putting words of appreciation to paper! And I do know things have and will continue to change in the way we communicate with others.

How does God communicate with us? He whispers to us through the beauty of His perfectly designed world. "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen" (Romans 1:20). Our God is a personal God whose Word tells us how much He values each of us. "How precious are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!" (Psalm 139:17). But the greatest of ways God communicates with us is in the sending of His Son. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). The purpose for His coming has an even sharper focus. "God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

You and I can know God through creation, the reading of His Word, and mostly, by what God has done through His Son, our Savior, on the Cross. There isn't any greater assurance that we are unique and special in His sight! My daily trips to the mailbox may have me yearning for something more personal than the "junk mail" I often find, but my relationship with God through Christ is never lacking!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


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