Will my children find some treasure,
Hidden in the attic?
Love notes written long ago,
Tied together with a bow.
Letters faded, dusty and worn,
Yellowed, wrinkled, some even torn.
Each holding a promise of tomorrow,
Now become today's stories of old.
As you can see from the poem above, the lost art I am talking about is not the art of simply writing a story. My topic today deals with an issue that is close to my heart. I have a sinking feeling that something beautiful is going to get lost in this age of technology. Cell phones, texting, emailing, and other electronic devices are replacing hand written notes and letters that once filled our mailboxes (outside our homes). A tender letter written to a loved one far away; a welcoming note to a new neighbor in town; a thank you card expressing how grateful a new mom was for a meal after having a baby; a child's opportunity to meet and learn about a pen pal across the country, even the world, like I did. That is the beauty of a piece of paper, a pen, and the hands that God has given us. As long as we have those three items, we can sit down and write pretty much anywhere we want. We do not even have to use electricity, or search for a nearby outlet. Emails can get lost in cyberspace. Texts are deleted when the inbox gets filled up. Yet, a letter can be kept for years, carried from generation to generation, telling the story of an individual by a few simple words written on a page.
I have noticed as I drive through town, shop in the nearby stores, and even at restaurants, that there are people all around me carrying these electrical devices, barely talking to the person next to them. In a world of silence, everyone sends texts these days in acronyms and briefs clips of words that are almost like a foreign language. The attention spans of our children grows less with each new technological device that comes out, making their ability to communicate faster than the last one did. The value and power of words is gradually fading into the past, leaving our children with nothing to show for their time and effort of writing, except for maybe a few sore fingers from texting so much.
I am not against these devices. I have a cell phone of my own, as well as a computer, but I see that I do not write notes and letters like I did when I was younger. Granted, with a husband, five children, a home to tend to, as well as a class to teach full time, I do not have the time I did when I was younger to sit down and send my friends a long letter. Yet, I do have a supply of cards in my room so I can write a quick note in five minutes and encourage someone who is having a hard time, or simply needs to know that I am thinking of them. As a writer from the inside out, I am determined to never let that part of writing go. I have encouraged my daughters to write to girls they meet in different states and now they each have five or six pen pals. They love to open up the mailbox and find a letter with their name inside. They are getting to know the joy of writing and receiving a blessing back.
I have had many pen pals growing up and to this day I still communicate with two of them. They have become my best friends. One gal is from Israel and I have been writing to her for over twenty years now. We have even visited a few times and we keep each other in prayer, especially when she tells me neighboring countries are sending rockets (bombs) into her city. The other gal lives in the states and we have encouraged each other over the years as we shared teen woes and issues of life again and again. I have a gigantic box of letters I have kept from all the writing I have done and every so often I pull them out and read a few, just to remind me of how I have grown over the years. It shows me how precious the written word is and those memories will always be there. Why else did God give us the written Word to follow? His way is perfect and His way is always the right way. We must follow His example and make sure we keep writing those letters. Even when the schools around us stop teaching cursive writing and begin using tablets in all the schools, we must strive to teach our children what an honor it is to handwrite notes and keep that old practice going. Writing will never become old fashioned, nor will it ever grow old. So, keep a stack of blank cards, pretty pens, and stamps handy, and send someone a letter today. Do not ever let writing become a lost art.
Want to read more like this? Visit her blog at carasimmons.com and see what else lies on this author's heart.