As usual, music was playing on the tech’s mini radio this morning when I entered the radiology suite. Often I ask them to change it from a rock station to something softer, but the volume was lower than usual, so I wasn’t paying much attention to sounds. My thoughts were on the day ahead, appointments, the tiredness I was feeling, a note I wanted to write. However, after I was settled onto what feels like a block of granite and was staring up at the eyes of Star Wars, my mind tuned in to the song that was playing.
I just called to say I love you,
I just called to say how much I care,
I just called to say I love you,
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart (Stevie Wonder, 2007).
It seemed like a love song from God, which made me smile because I needed it.
But then I began to ponder about the calls I don’t make or the notes I don’t write…there was a time in the distant past – uh, younger folks equate this to the horse and buggy days – when we didn’t have…wait for it…
TEXTING! I can only imagine what a shock this must be for some of the readers, but try to formulate in your mind a world where people thought of other people and picked up a phone and CALLED THEM. Crazy insanity, right? We got to hear each other’s voices and voice inflections, like, a lot, which lead to fewer misunderstandings about what we ‘really meant’ when we said thus and so. It was actually downright amazing. I mean, I am aware that the new technology is always the best technology to younger generations, and the old fogies usually long for the old days, but sometimes, just sometimes, I think in the high-tech world, we lose large pieces of intimacy in relationships by always erecting invisible divides between ourselves through texting rather than using our voices in a phone call. Just an observation…
Another thing that I used to do a lot of was writing personal cards to people. You know, real cards that require ink pens, (remember those?), and cursive writing (out of favor, I know, I know!), with which to express words of love or encouragement. And then, (this is sooooo archaic; it is really aging me), you would put a stamp on the envelope (I can provide a tutorial on this process, if necessary). Next, your friend’s address is necessary on the envelope, and, (this is the difficult part), either put it in the mailbox (that’s what the funny-shaped thing with a door that hangs by your front door or out at the road is for), or there is a place called a post office where you can take it to be mailed (you may have to google it). Either one works, but one may be faster than the other; however; I don’t want to complicate things with too many details. Shew!
Now that I have explained the mechanics, let’s return to calls and letters. Some of us are natural encouragers, like the New Testament’s Barnabas. It is a gift; it flows from the heart and you are such a wonderful presence in any group. I am grateful that I am privileged to know a couple of people who are encouragers.
Others of us have to work at it because our gifts lie elsewhere, perhaps in giving, but it doesn’t let us off the hook from offering encouragement, (“It’s not my spiritual gift, so I don’t do it”). Sorry, sister, (or brother), I’m convinced the spiritual life does not work that way. We each and every one need encouragement, almost as much as we need to breathe. This world is a dark place, some days more dark than others. If we cannot, or will not encourage each other and be light in each other’s darkness with the Light we have been given, I have to wonder why…
And that is for you to answer for yourself.