Active Loving: The Art of Letter-Writing
Today I wanted to write about my little sister, Mia. One of my favourite things about her is her complete passion for writing letters. It's a real gift that she has and I absolutely love finding her colourful cards in my pigeon hole when I'm away at university.
From when she was really small she would draw (part impressive, part hilarious) pictures, notes and messages for us all. She maintains an extensive email network with all her school friends and family members, and for a few months there was even a riveting email correspondence with our family hamster Albus!
Mia's communications are aided by endless supplies of Cath Kidston notecards, multi-coloured writing and a wonderful array of spelling mistakes (including a great phonetic spelling of gilet as "shelay"). She loves to find out all about the person she is writing to, asking lots of questions and always including her best wishes for their week! She replies diligently and in great detail to every letter she receives.
Acts 20:35 says "It is better to give than to receive".
This shows us how blessed it is to invest generously in people and be willing to give time and energy without expecting anything in return. Mia writes to our granny in hospital nearly every week without any reply, but it is something she takes joy in doing and I think that she is blessed in this simple way of serving. By starting to serve others and become less self preoccupied we can start developing a spirit of kindness and generosity.
While we don't all share the gift of prolific letter writing (!), it's so important to invest time and energy communicating with people.
In Matthew 22:36-39 Jesus tells us firstly to "Love the Lord your God" and secondly to "Love your neighbour as yourself". Jesus lived life in this way, creating real relationships with people and loving them actively.
Something I found really helpful was a quote from the minister and historian Charles Kingsley, describing an actively loving approach to day-to-day life:
"Make it a rule never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say, "I have made one human being at least a little wiser, a little happier or a little better this day."
I am always inspired by the selfless and cheerful nature that comes across in Mia's letters; her way of serving by bringing a little happiness into a day!