You know what would make me happy on Valentine’s Day? Not a big old pink satin heart-shaped box of chocolates, not a gigantic bouquet of red roses, not even a diamond necklace. (But don’t tell my husband in case he’s going to surprise me!)
Nope. A mailbox full of good mail. Mail delights me. And a mailbox full of valentines would make me squeal with joy on this day of love in my book called Opportunity.
I’m not talking email, but good old fashioned letters sealed in envelopes, letter or business size; addressed to me; adorned with one of a myriad of stamp designs; and delivered to my country mail box by my faithful mailperson.
I’m not a particularly ardent fan of Dilbert, created by cartoonist Scott Adams. But his cartoon in which Dilbert announces, “I get mail; therefore I am,” resonates with me. Yes sir, Dilbert, I so get the memo on that one and totally identify with your philosophy, even if you are being sarcastic.
As long as I can remember, getting mail has been a significant aspect of my day. I have always been enchanted by receiving mail and Christmas time, when my mailbox gets stuffed with cards from friends near and far, sends me into sheer bliss. I’ve actually tussled with family members over who gets to open the Christmas cards each day, and I’m a little ashamed to admit I want to be first!
Getting mail is a daily ritual I don’t like to miss, whether it’s stopping by my mailbox on my way home from the office or walking up my long, gravel driveway to retrieve the mail on my day off. Want to make me giddy with glee? Put something in the post for me!
What caused this quirky facet of my personality? How did receiving mail become such a priority in my life? I’m not certain, but I can remember as a very young child asking my parents every day if there was any mail for me. Sadly, the answer was always no until one miraculous day.
I can honestly recall the very first time I ever received mail addressed only to my 4-year-old self. That day was a day like no other. It was a day – actually Valentine’s Day – when the universe seemed to acknowledge that I existed. It was such a monumental occasion that I still remember – even now – the feeling I encountered when my mom uttered the magical words, “You’ve got mail!”
A captivating communiqué just for me! Charming correspondence addressed to me! Exciting epistle delivered to me! It was a phenomenal moment.
The envelope was large and my name and address were written on it in strong, sure handwriting that looked familiar – distinguished handwriting that I would discern and recognize as I got older. On the right hand corner of the envelope was a 4-cent stamp. (Yep, it only cost four cents to send a letter back then.) Inside that envelope was a comical greeting card with a crazy cartoon cat. The card was a Valentine and it was signed, “Love, Your Daddy.”
Yes, I had an amazing father, whom I loved and cherished, and he made me feel very special. And that very first piece of mail he sent to me was, and still is, a treasure. Over 50 years later, I still possess that piece of mail, envelope and all, preserved in my memento box.
What makes me disheartened today is that people don’t send mail like they did in the past. Letters and cards don’t magically arrive in my mailbox on a daily basis. Instead there are unwanted advertisements, unsolicited requests for monetary contributions for causes or political campaigns, bills (there’s always lots of those), or an occasional catalog.
The crusade to perform all your communication electronically seems to have won the day for most people. So tell me, what will a little girl save in her memory box? Will she really remember that one time her daddy sent her an email or a text message?
As often happens, my mind turns to spiritual thoughts as I write this. Wouldn’t it be amazing, I think, to get mail from God?
You open your mail box to discover a brilliantly luminous envelope addressed in your name and written in exquisite gold filigree lettering. Turning the envelope over, you get a whiff of the most fragrant sealing wax on the back, embossed with “I AM.”
You carefully slit open the envelope to find the most beautifully textured, translucent piece of vellum your hands have ever touched. Unfolding it, your eyes fall upon these words, “My Dearest Daughter (or Son) …”
You can’t wait to behold what this magnificent missive, this lustrous letter has to impart to you.
Eagerly you continue reading, “I have known you and loved you even before I created you. Why do you think I have never ‘sent’ you anything before this letter? I sent you my love and faithfulness (Psalm 57:3). I sent you my one and only Son, Jesus Christ, so you may have eternal life. (John 3:16) I sent you the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, to teach you all things and remind you of everything Jesus said. (John 14:26) And I have sent you my living and holy Word to read for understanding and guidance. Dear beloved one, I send you ‘mail’ every day. All you have to do is have faith, believe in me, communicate with me in prayer and read my daily mail. Love beyond measure, Your Eternal Father God.”
You’ve got mail. All you have to do is open up your mailbox (your Bible) to find it. On this day and everyday, God sends His love in the post. And that’s the best Valentine we could receive.
Copyright ©2012 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com
(Written with excerpts from a 2010 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com post)