Why write a letter? Because it will mean a lot to the one who receives it. I write "just for the heck of it" to people who come to mind. People whose paths I've crossed. People whose heart I know. People who've written me, and pulled back just a little bit of the curtain of their lives.
My responses to them are not profound. They are always true, as much as I can make them be. I try to be true to myself, as they have tried to be true to me in what they've written, or said to me. In fact, my writing a letter still is simply to respond to something someone else has revealed about him or her self.
When we arrived at Ossipee, and went to church the next Sunday, a tall, quiet, sweet woman, now a widow, said at the church: "I've been looking through George's things the year since he died, and found his Bible. He had in it a note I had sent him, but there in the front, was a letter he had saved from you. It had meant a lot to him. And does to me, now that George is gone." She's told me twice this summer, about that letter. Such a little thing.
It helps to know that George was a general handyman, particularly good as a carpenter. He effected a somewhat Garrison Keillor look, with prominent suspenders, and above his broad, placid, smiling face, a flat broad-brimmed straw hat. He loved to talk, and carried a deeply-held Christian faith in his heart.
He also built for us one summer a connecting section joining two parts of our summer house, that we call Tamarack Lodge. George's section we call "The Gallery." It connects the main sections of the house to each other, but also with a broad deck on the lake side of the house, and at the other end a lovely summer porch which is at one end of the "farmer's porch" which faces toward the road that serves all the Hodsdon Shore lakeside cottages.
George and his theology was an interesting presence to have around. I tried to thank him for his presence among our family that year. And so, my letter.
Another man, in his sixties, has written me several letters this past half year. One, responding to a blog on my arthurrounerministries.com website, "We love what you do." A little word of encouragement to me. So, why not a note back, of thanks?
When I first went as pastor to Colonial Church, an eager salesman-type man, who had been a deacon, a trustee, and most everything in the church, had me out to lunch at a grand Minneapolis country club. Among other things he said, "When you have a lunch or meeting with someone, always write a note of appreciation afterward to whomever was your host."
I've tried to do that ever since. And, I include people who've stopped to talk with me after church. It has actually been a little reconciliation piece with some of those people after we've met.
God uses the few words we offer, in surprising ways, through His Holy Spirit. You might try it sometime. You'll be surprised.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES