In this fast-paced world with the ease of just sending an email, a few words on Facebook Messenger, or the use of an emoji, it is easy to overlook the power of a personal handwritten note or letter.
After coming home from the hospital with polio at the age of 6, I was given a large red leather-covered scrape book made for me by my Great Uncle Army, who founded A.V. Emmott Bookbinders. He embossed my full name in bold gold leaf letters on the front cover. When Uncle Army handed me the scrapbook he said, “Bubba, I know you received many get-well cards and letters when you were in the hospital. I made this scrapbook for you to put all your cards and letters in.” Uncle Army knew then (what I did not know until much later) that the cards and handwritten notes placed in the scrapbook would one day become some of my greatest treasures.
I spent hours on end convalescing at home. I read and reread the cards. I selected and placed the cards on the pages where I thought were best. Then, I carefully put rubber cement on the back of each card and glued them to the pages for safekeeping.
At that time and during the five years of homeschooling and physical therapy which followed, each card was much more than just a piece of paper. Each card let me know that someone really cared for me and appreciated what I was going through. My life and struggles were important to them. If not, why would each person take time out of their busy life to do this for me? Sure, some cards were just signed by the sender. However, many cards had personal handwritten notes on them. The person took the time and effort to craft the right words to comfort me and give me hope that better times were ahead.
Through the years with repeated pneumonia, sicknesses, hospitalizations, and surgeries, the cards kept coming. They too found their way into Uncle Army’s scrapbook. When I felt that no one cared for me or in miserable moments of self-pity, all I had to do was to open that scrapbook. People cared. God cared for me through them.
Many people you and I know need you and me to be their pen-angels. They need a little angelic love in receiving and reading a personal handwritten note inside a card. Maybe just a personal letter to let them know they are not alone.
Today, in my collaborative divorce practice, I often use my Bending Angel note cards to write a personal message to many of those. Many times, after the divorce is completed, I send a handwritten note with a quote from a note my wife and I received from dear friends after the resolution of a difficult business dispute. The quote is from the Wizard of Oz. It reads:
You’re out of the woods,
You’re out of the dark,
You’re out of the night.
Step into the sun,
Step into the light.
That handwritten note in the card from our friends is still in safe keeping and is treasured in our hearts. I know that those who get my cards see an important message. The ending of a legal relationship is the beginning of a new, more hopeful, and happy life. That my thoughts and prayers will remain with them always.
God’s Apostle Paul knew the importance and power of the handwritten word.
I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
2 Thessalonians 3:17
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, please help me to set aside time each day or week to write out a personal note to someone in need or to say thank you for a good deed done.
God, please help me not to allow efficiency or hurriedness to crowd my day so much I don’t take the time to write personal handwritten notes or letters.
God, the Bible contains Your Holy written word. Your words will never be forgotten. May my words pushed through my fingers in a handwritten note dwell in the hearts of those who receive them. Through my handwritten words may each person receive Your everlasting love, comfort, and hope. Amen
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas. He is Board-Certified in both Family Law and Civil Trial Law and is a Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney.
To arrange a book signing or personal appearance please contact Jack’s Publicist, Ann Boland by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 520-247-0070.