I know that we live in a world with technology like cell phones, texts, and Skype that allow us to keep in touch almost as quickly as if we were in the same room. I know that if I text you, you’ll reply in a few hours at the most and in a few seconds at best. And I know the power of fast communication. But I also know the power of handwritten letters.
When I met you at summer camp five years ago, I knew I had found a kindred spirit, and I wasn’t going to let that find go to waste. But I also knew that you wouldn’t be just an ordinary friend to me. And extraordinary friends call for extraordinary methods of communication. Maybe even something extra-ordinary like pen and paper.
Being the introvert I am, I found it easier to pour my thoughts and soul into words on a page, envisioning you reading it with a smile on your face. Writing letters made me feel like I would really be listened to. That every word I wrote was important and would somehow be documented for eternity. Writing to you made me think through my own beliefs and problems. And then there were your responses.
Your life filled the pages of those long awaited letters. No matter how much time passed between responses, they brought me infinite amounts of joy and still do. Your personality shone through your wording and handwriting. Just the fact that you took the time to sit down and write was incredible. And not just write, but write to me. And it meant the world.
Thanks to you, my love of writing letters has grown. I can’t tell you the countless people that I’ve been able to touch with my words of gratitude, my words of truth, and my words of comfort. The reactions that I’ve received from other friends whom I write to have been so sweet. Some people feel the need to write me back. Some tell me that it’s the most thoughtful thing that they’ve ever received. I even had a friend hang my letter on the wall next to his high school diploma. Words have power, and that has never been clearer than it is now. Nothing brings me more joy than to bring joy to others, and writing letters is just one of the many ways I can do that.
When we first started writing letters, it was to encourage each other in our faith journeys. Since then, I have adopted some of my favorite words ever written in a letter:
“I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”- 2 John 13
Until then, I will continue to cherish our friendship using the best tool I know how…letter writing.
All the very best,
Rachel Rebagay is a recent graduate from Texas Christian University. Although she majored in Mechanical Engineering, she was heavily involved in the Religious and Spiritual Life at TCU. During her time at TCU, Rachel served on the Leadership Team of Disciples on Campus as well as helped to create the TCU Worship Team, which brings worship events and prayer opportunities to campus. This fall, she will be pursuing her Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University.