|Photo courtesy of Liz West|
Two nights ago, I found myself in a place I had not been for quit some time: at a round table, munching on less-than-nutritious snacks (read: pizza bites), listening to and conversing with other men about leaving a legacy of wisdom with our children and spouses. Ironically, in my search for authentic manhood, I have avoided situations that involve a gathering of men in one room. I often feel less than adequate and at a loss of words as they discuss manly things: sports, work, the best road to take to get from one location to another.
This past Sunday we were invited to visit a friend’s church. Afterwards, one of the men invited me to their Bible study on Monday nights. I don’t know why I decided to go, but I took the bait and ended up enjoying the discussion.
The topic of the night was writing letters. And while there was some “man” topics, eventually we were all focused on writing letters to the ones we love. One man shared how it impacted his relationship with his incarcerated son. Another shared a letter written to him from a member of the church he left, wishing him the best where God was taking him and how much he would be missed. One shared about the importance of letters when he was in the military. The testimony on the video shared a man who had kept a letter from his father for 53 years!
Two things came out of the meeting: I felt like I belonged and I felt loved by God. Talking with these men seemed like a natural extension of the common bond of manhood and our relationship with Christ. We left challenged to expose our tender side in the lost art of letter writing. At the same time, I gained perspective on God’s word as a letter.
Letters have meaning because they are attached to relationship with a person. Whenever my wife leaves me a love letter, there is a tangible side to me holding something in my hand that she took time to craft into words. And because I know her, as opposed to a complete stranger, I feel instantly connected to the meaning behind the dialogue. Likewise, the more we get to know God, the more real scriptures will seem to our hearts.