Dearest Members of Bethlehem,
Not long ago I had occasion to stay in a hotel. It had been a long day and I was eager to get checked in and then settled into a room. I strolled up to the front desk and said hello.
“Checking in?” Answered, “Yep.” Then, “Last name?” Followed by, “Smail.” Then, the classic, “Let’s see here…”. Followed by typing and squinting eyes aimed at the computer screen.
As soon as you hear the ol’, “Let’s see here…”. You pretty much know the computer isn’t even on. No problem, if our kind host needed a moment to peruse the reservation list and confirm my identity, I decided I would do some perusing myself. I took a little looky loo around the lobby.
And then, I had a “let’s see here…” moment myself. I spotted a handsome brass rack, late sixties vintage as best I could tell. And then, cascading from top to bottom, a beautiful array of postcards. What a moment! Fall and winter scenes, kind greetings like, “Wish you were here,” just to generate the perfect amount of envy on the part of the recipient. I was drawn in.
And even after I got my room key, directions about breakfast, and the wifi password… I was still stuck on the post cards. You do realize there was a time when postcards were the way to go. Postcards were the primary mode of communication for families on vacation. But it wasn’t just that… there’s something absolutely fascinating about these postcards; as you likely know, there’s a very limited amount of space to work with.
There’s typically a nice glossy picture on the front. Then, on the back, there’s a spot for the stamp and address, and what’s left? The space in which you must fit your heartfelt greeting. What would you write in that space? How would you keep your greeting meaningful, yet concise? Would you default to the old cliche’s, “Having a great time, the weather is good here, don’t forget to water the plants!”
Before you decide, just let me remind you of one more thing, there’s no envelope! So, anything and everything you write to your friend and loved ones can be read by every postal worker and “nebby” neighbor between here and Kalamazoo. Can you imagine?
Now, I would suggest that you do not get overly nervous about this, but rather see it as a tremendous opportunity! Hone your flashiest handwriting, find a bold colored pen, all in the hope of piquing someone’s interest. Then, have fun writing something that will make an impression!
Question for reflection: If you had to share the content of your faith; and be both convincing and engaging as you shared that faith; but just had a postcard to do it, how would you craft your message?
Yours in Christ,
Gracious Lord, give us the courage and willpower to rededicate ourselves to your purposes. If we seek anything in these days, may we seek your kingdom with greater vigor. We pray this all in Jesus’ name, Amen.
*Please note, there will be no Monday Morning Message/Tuesday Tidings next week. Regularly scheduled mailings and posts will resume on October 10th. Thank you for your patience!