I’m a sucker for a handwritten note or card. Chances are if you sent me a letter at any time in my life, I still have it. They’re all over my home. Tucked in boxes, stuffed in folders, and stashed away in drawers. Every once in a while I’ll grab a box from a shelf and rifle through the letters delighting in the personal notes, the colors of the handwriting, and remembering where I was when I first received the card. A few words will transport me to a specific time and place and the emotions that came from the personal note.
Because I cherish the written word I have letters and journals for my children. When they have a new milestone or say something worth remembering, I’ll write them a note. When we have an ordinary day at home, I write them. When I’m at my wit’s end and frustrated, I write that too. The words I’m sharing chronicle our lives, but most importantly, my love for them.
It’s been dreary and gray recently where I live and the weight of the world can feel so heavy. Some days it’s harder to see and feel the light than others. But when I need to be reminded of goodness and the beauty of my life, I take a moment and read a note sent to me by a friend or family member. Flipping through my cards I am reminded that so many have come into my life and have left a mark, a ray of hope for me. When I read updates from friends I give thanks for the ordinary blessings in my midst. The words from years ago surround me and lift my spirits.
Words have power and beauty, they can transform and inspire. They can enlighten and nourish. I love the beginning of John’s Gospel showing us that in the beginning was the Word. First and foremost the word existed. The word came into being, the word continues to bring light, hope, and grace. The word was and is and will be to come. This word inspires all other words.
Jesus Christ, our word, the first word, the word that will be forever and ever.
Can I see God’s words of love surrounding me? Tiny love letters tucked in the smile and sweet kisses of my children. The deep hum of the organ to begin worship. The outstretched arm of a friend sharing peace. The brilliant oranges and pinks of a sunset. The birds early morning call. The gentle lapping of waves. The silence following the rain. The warmth of a candle. The harmony of voices in song.
God sends us love notes each and every day. Every moment of our lives. Reminding us we have been called and loved and filled with God’s word.
Take a moment today and revel in all the ways God is showing you love. Open your eyes and take in the beauty in your midst.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website or follow her work on Facebook.