Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Love Letters

During each of my moves, a few boxes of letters have moved with me. They are all special to me, but one box stands out. It is a box of love letters. I am a saver, so some of these date back to high school when boys finally started to notice me (quite a few years after I first noticed them). Others are from college and beyond. The letters are worn out from being read, studied, and examined to the nth degree. Through these letters I learned of the writer’s character, how he felt about me, and his plans for us. I learned his strengths, weaknesses, and his values.

I remember walking to my mailbox with my breath held, hoping for a glimpse of familiar handwriting (maybe now it’s the feeling we get when we check our in-box for emails). As I look back over these letters, I laugh at the jokes and sigh over young romance. I remember studying each word, each nuance, each punctuation mark—analyzing the messages within. The contents filled me with joy and excitement, or, as relationships soured, with sadness and feelings of inadequacy. I cringe when I think of how I hurt the writers, or how they hurt me. I remember how sometimes we tried to make a relationship when there was no substance at all. Each one of these relationships held a degree of disappointment or disillusionment the more and more I got to know the person.

You see, even the letters from the man I would marry could not satisfy all the longings of my heart or explain why I am in this world. I have come to understand, as much as I enjoy these letters, there is only one love letter that cannot disappoint me. It is filled with stories of the past and plans for the future. It tells of ultimate sacrifice in the name of love. Its author is infallible and by His very nature cannot let me down. This love letter is to you and to me. It is God’s word in the Bible. I sometimes forget about this love letter and look elsewhere for my hope, leaving it unopened on my bedside table like a glorified coaster, and during those times I know I miss out.

Jeremiah 29:1

“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Happy Easter!

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