By PASTOR TOMMY POPHIN
Do you remember an old-fashioned form of corresponding called “the letter?” You used a pen that, when it was applied to a piece of paper, resulted in a nice piece of prose.
“The letter” was used to express thoughts, feelings and life with another individual. “The letter” has been replaced, at best, by e-mail, which is often cold, emotionless and down to business. Even e-mail has been replaced with text messaging or social media with all of its LOLs, BTWs and OMGs. When you read them, the words are often off-the-cuff and thoughtless.
I remember when I was a teenager, I would spend time during long summer afternoons sitting and writing letters to friends and family members. It was a great way to share my thoughts about life, love and faith. I would write to someone I met at summer camp or to a grandparent or cousin. The fun part was dropping the letter in the mail and, within a week, receiving a reply. The reply usually resulted in a joyous reading about the one I loved. Perhaps you are like me – in the top of my closet is a shoe box that holds all the letters and cards my wife sent me while we were dating and beyond.
One memory that comes to mind is a letter I received while I was ministering in Florida back in 1989. It was from my “Granny Pophin.” The chance that I even received it was hilarious because of the address on the letter. She had simply written my name and the name of the church in which I was ministering. There was no address and the name of the town was Bradenton, Fla. The church I served was in Brandon, Fla. There was no ZIP code. Somehow, the United States Post Office delivered that letter to me. In the letter were words of encouragement about how proud she was of me as a minister of the gospel. Granny was a Bible teacher in Sunday school who spent hours every week preparing to teach the ladies in her class. She was my inspiration.