Letter writing is a dying art form in our society. What better time to resurrect it than Mother’s Day, when we can sit down and write a letter to our moms? If like mine your mother has passed on beyond the reach of the U.S. Postal Service, you can still write her a letter addressed to heaven and reap the benefits of feeling connected to her once again.
For most of my adult life I lived far away from my mother, either out of the country or on opposite sides of it. So Mom would faithfully write me letters telling me of all the everyday happenings in our hometown. She’d include an overview of the weather, how the garden was coming in, what my sisters and their families had been up to, any major improvements in the area—just any tidbit of news that would draw me closer to the place and people I loved and left. Almost always she would close with, “Well, I’d better finish up to beat the postman.”
I wrote her letters in reply, telling her news of the faraway places I lived and keeping her up to date on travel adventures and the “growing up” antics of my two sons. In short, we were pen pals as well as mother and daughter, and both of us were blessed by the letters that connected our lives and hearts.
It’s time to find some pretty stationery and write our moms again. But how can we make a letter to mom meaningful, whether she will read it or we’ll just deliver it in our hearts? One idea is to use the letters written by the Apostle Paul as our template.
Even though Paul sometimes wrote his letters from prison to churches he had visited, those in cities like Philippi, Corinth or Thessalonica eagerly awaited and shared the missives he sent. Why? Because Paul would most often begin with a warm greeting, add an expression of gratitude, offer a strong dose of encouragement (or admonition if needed), promote reconciliation and close with a message of hope.
Students of the Bible pour over the epistles of Paul for all the instruction on living the Christian life still relevant today. Though we may not want to include all of Paul’s elements in letters to our moms, they are a great place to start. For instance, we could say something like I thank my God every time I remember you (Philippians 1:3). We could remind her that we love her and that love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7). Or bless her by closing like Paul often did: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (1 Thessalonians 5:28).
Because of God’s love moving in us we should all be able to address our mothers warmly and with respect despite any lingering relationship issues, express our gratitude to them, share some happy memories, and encourage them to keep the faith. Such a letter will be a treasured gift for a mom still with you, or a joyful remembrance of a mom loved and lost.
(First published in Pikes Peak Senior News.)