My whole extended family grew up in SC. I believe it’s a state law that one has to write thank-you notes for wedding gifts (I think in VA too). When my brother was married, my aunt asked him if he thought her thank-you note had been lost in the mail. After I moved out of the house, my mom has threatened to write a note if she thought I was stepping out of line. When there have been important milestones in my life, I can always expect a note from my parents. I have to admit – I’m not sure I see eye-to-eye with my parents on note writing. She believes a thank you note should be written for everything. I tend to share my thank yous with a hug and a verbal thank you, though I still write some. Nothing wrong with either – just how my parents were brought up.
Notes are really important and a lost art for folks of my generation and younger. I’m trying to resurrect that art. On various Wednesday nights, our youth will write notes to folks who need to hear a good word. Last month, our youth carved pumpkins and wrote a short note to some folks in our congregation who needed to know that we were thinking about them. Of course, I received 2 thank-you notes, letting us know how much it was appreciated. In my office, there are many notes that I will always treasure – notes from youth about how much they appreciated me or notes from children before I went on my Sabbatical or notes of appreciation for my ministry or a note from the mom of a youth who told me how much I had meant to her son or a note from one of my children just saying I love you or a note of welcome from many of you when we moved here 15 months ago or a note saying how meaningful youth Sunday had been. I could go on, and I will if you ask me in person.
I encourage you – pause for 5 minutes and write a note to someone. For what – doesn’t matter. Just the fact that you thought enough to take the time to write a note will mean the world to that person. What a great way for us to live out our faith, to be the body of Christ in a real and tangible way, to be God’s hands and feet to this world.
And, for heaven’s sake, don’t send an e-mail