Monday, July 6, 2009

Recipe for a Letter

I was looking through some old cookbooks this morning. They were ones that I've collected over the years; you know the ones from various fundraisers. In the back of one from my dad's mom, Grandma Aggie, I found this cute recipe. This particular cookbook was from the First Lutheran Church Sunday School in Paxton, Illinois. The cover says, "Favorite Recipes from Our Best Cooks". It has a darling 1970's drawing on the front of a Holly Hobby-esque lady stirring something while her husband has his arms around her waits and is nuzzling her neck. The caption around this picture says, "Kissin' wears out...Cookin' don't!"

I digress, the recipe is what I wanted to share! Here it is:

Recipe for a Letter---contributed by Jessie Kirsche
Take equal parts of hope and laughter (heaping measurements) and after you have mixed, add faith to those. Then pepper just enough to please. Stir friendship (let it rise to double). Add prayers for those who are in trouble. Test your heart for warmth and soften. Close with love, and write one often.

How cute is that? It particularly touched me today because we don't really write letters much anymore. I suppose that I should say that email counts as a letter. But, really it does not. Email is so often just something that you have received from someone else and you forward it to others on your email list. Frequently there is no personal thought involved in email. Phone calls don't count, in my opinion, because they are often made or received in the midst of something else going on and lack focus. Don't get me wrong! I do love a good email with personal thoughts, news and good wishes; same goes for phone calls.

However, there is something in an old fashioned, hand-written letter that goes lacking in our day of super technology. A handwritten letter seems to indicate that the writer of it has taken a few moments aside from his or her otherwise busy life to think about the one to whom he writes. It takes some time for the writer to think of things to say that are meaningful and not just bits of news. At times the writer might have to pause to think more about the recipient in order to know what to write. The savvy writer will ask just enough questions to spur the recipient on to actually write back! All of that will result in the writer thinking much of the friend to whom he writes.

Which then means that when the letter is delivered and joyously found among the bills and junk mail, the recipient is overcome with satisfaction that there is something more interesting in the mail. Then, upon reading the letter (even if it is rather short!) the recipient feels very special.

What a treat, nay--gift!--you give when you write someone a letter! When was the last time you wrote a letter? Consider yourself challenged to write a letter to someone this week. (hint:my mail box is always game!)

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