One of my favorite childhood possessions was a book titled How to Grow Up in One Piece. Each page contained a humorous lesson about people, places and things around the house, such as, doors. Doors were either open or closed, the text explained, but one could never know which was correct. So, the author sagely advised, “Open all closed doors and close all open doors. You won’t be right, but you’ll be busy.”
During a recent conversation with a dear friend, we compared notes about the letters we had written to our parents in our younger years. “I wrote about cleaning,” she said. “What in the world was I cleaning that was so important?” I replied, “When I left home to go to college and for years thereafter, I wrote about all the things on my to-do list. Why in the world did I think that was interesting?”
I was reminded of the Biblical story of Martha and Mary, two sisters who hosted Jesus in their home. Martha busied herself with chores while Mary listened to their guest. “Lord,” Martha complained, “do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me” to which Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part…” (Luke 10: 38-42)
Whose letter would you rather read?
Martha: “Yesterday, we had company. I cooked and did the dishes, washed the clothes, swept and scrubbed the floors…”
Mary: “Yesterday, we had an extraordinary visitor. What he taught me changed my life…”
Doors open and closed.
What did you write to your parents?
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I used to write to Mother and Dad about all the little ordinary things my children did. I think I was bored! They saved all of those letters and when Mother gave them to me I groaned, thinking that they would be mundane and dull. But happily, they are a journal of leisurely days!
Letters chronicle time and capture memories. Along with the daily routine, I, too, recorded stories, some otherwise forgotten. Thank you for sharing yours in the Noontimes!