Words are the greatest treasure.
But to give somebody the gift of words on a pretty card with a photo or recipe or poem inside is a mailbox full of gold.
No matter how much you'd like for somebody to send you a treasure in the mail, you are unlikely to force it to happen. You can want it, and wait for it, but you can't buy it or bargain for it. You can't expect it, or demand it. It is a gift like any other, and when it arrives, you realize that any day can be a birthday.
A couple weeks ago, my friend Jamie sent me a letter that I wasn't expecting at all. In her letter, she talked about her budding desire to take up a letter-writing hobby during this season of life when she is physically limited in some other ways. She can't always be where she wants to be, but Jamie realized she can give the gift of words all the time, and through those gifts, she is finding new ways to be happy and enjoy relationships.
Jamie narrated the story of a federal judge whose commemoration event she attended recently, and how this man, who passed away at age 94, was remembered during the service by those whose lives he had impacted. His friends and colleagues recounted little about the courtroom happenings, but over and over they talked about the letters and notes he wrote them. The judge sent all kinds of letters - thank you notes, congratulations, remembrances, and even replies to sympathy cards he received in the hospital. Until the end of his life, this man sent treasures in the mail, and now that he is gone, the treasures remain.
My life was enhanced on the day Jamie's letter arrived. Not only was I encouraged that my letter-writing journey is inspiring others, but I was personally inspired by the judge's story that what I am doing matters. And to make matters better, Jamie took the time to write out a poem which she included in the card for me. She may or may not have known that the first two lines of the poem she sent are the beginning lines of my second blog post back when I restarted my blog four months ago. I didn't realize at the time I wrote that post that there was more to what W.H. Davies wrote, that there was an entire poem following the opening verse.
But now I know, and am grateful to know. I am also grateful to know Jamie, who took the time to share this treasure with me. It's a treasure to share with my family now too.
I typed the poem and printed it on yellow paper, to help differentiate it from the various stacks of scrap paper notes and half-finished coloring sheets lying around the kitchen. And now we have started the wonderful work of memorizing the lines of "Leisure," to carry with us the rest of our lives. It matters to me very much that these wise words are allowed to shape my heart and the hearts of my boys and my girls. What is this life, if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?
Jamie couldn't have known that what she was doing that day in writing the letter and the poem for me would trickle down to my children and the values they hold dear. She didn't know those of you reading my blog would benefit. She only knew that she had found a treasure and treasures are too good to keep.
What treasures have you found in life lately that you would be willing to share with someone else? A recipe? A book recommendation? A Bible verse? A poem? A photograph? If you're short on words, just send the recipe or poem or picture in the mail, with a brief mention of the reason it means so much to you, to a person who means so much to you. They will stand and stare at the treasure in their hand on the day your mail arrives. How rich you both are!