A couple weeks ago Levi got the letter packet I sent with letters to numerous family members - aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces, nephews...When I called him he said they arrived and, "You've written to just about every single relation, most of whom really don't give us the time of day, and yet there's no letter for Josue or Sarai [his children]."
Me with my step -BONUS - kids, 2012
I was nonplussed! I was certain i had checked every name on my list as I wrote. I suggested I may have been distracted, and missed them. I felt very bad about it, and the next day wrote them each a full 2 page letter (both sides of 2 sheets) and mailed them post haste.
Another time I called the house and spoke to my father-ini-law, and he also commented on how I wrote to so many members of the extended family, and wondered about it.
I explained, it's not a matter of obligation. But I'd MET these people, and through Levi am RELATED to them, and it is no hardship for me to write - and it is part of my "gift", my talent, to write letters - and in so doing I am actually sowing seeds of God's love.
I grew up before computers and instant-messaging and Skype and all that. My erudite parents were also letter-writers. My mom encouraged my sisters and me to write thank you's to our grandparents for Christmas and birthday gifts. In school we learned how to compose various kinds of letters. In high school I had some 30 penpals in various countries.
God gives us all gifts and talents. Some are natural, some spiritual (Romans 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4...) While I don't receive correspondence in kind (except from my first spiritual son, a peruvian who lives in Brazil and still sends me cards for mother's day and Christmas, and writes letters) that does not determine to whom I write. In a way, I think it's like God perfecting HIS love in me. How often does He reach out to, speak to us, through various ways and means? How often does He express His love to us - and WE fail to respond? yet He keeps loving on us! I do get feedback, when I visit, and they tell me how much the letters mean to them, how often they arrive at a strategic moment, when they're at a low moment and need a little encouragement. " We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is ... to encourage, then give encouragement..." (Rom. 12:6, 7) Doesn't say **I** have to get anything in return. Doesn't say it's conditional on the merits of the person receiving the encouragement - just as my receiving God's love is without condition, thank God! Family, especially in Christ, comes first...but...Love is one of those things, that the more you give, the more you have. He enlarges my heart. I'm AMAZED at the capacity I have to love! (Not that there are not challenges...)
And so...I keep the Post Office in business!