For the past few weeks, the lovely people over at The World Needs More Love Letters have been tweeting and Facebooking about a new partnership they’re doing this February: they’ve paired with the United States Postal Service to offer a limited edition Forever stamp called the “Sealed with Love” stamp. The stamp features an image that harkens back to the good ol’ days when letter-writing was in fashion: an envelope sealed with a red wax heart.
Although I haven’t really been alive long enough to see the decline of the hand-written letter and the rise of communicating with our thumbs in the form of 140-character blips in the Twittersphere and text messages, the Sealed with Love stamp is a reminder of something that I think is missing not just from communication, but from some of our day-to-day lives and interactions: care, effort, and patience.
Sure, it’s faster to shoot someone an email or a text or a Facebook message, but there’s something sweeter about putting pen to paper, purchasing a stamp, and walking to the mailbox. Something that says, “you are worth more of my time than just a few seconds of rapid-fire keyboard-pounding or thumb-twiddling.” More Love Letters is dedicated to spreading this mindset in its partnership with the USPS and in its overall mission.
In conjunction with this partnership, the MLL community has been asking its members and supporters what it means to them to live a life “sealed with love.” And I hadn’t really pondered that myself until tonight, when they hosted a Twitter party loaded with letter requests, community, and inspiration.
And I figured: with Lent just around the corner, I have the perfect opportunity to discover for myself what a life sealed with love is.
For those of you who don’t know, Lent is a penitential season that many Christians celebrate. It’s about 40 days long (it ends on Easter Sunday) and it’s built on the three practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These three practices are meant to bring Christians into closer relationship with God and with their fellow man.
Many people think of Lent in terms of giving something up as a way to rid themselves of the distractions that keep them from loving God and others as fully as they could. But it’s also a great opportunity to take on new practices.
So in light of my own ponderings on what it means to be “sealed with love,” this Lent, I am going to dedicate myself to performing at least one small (and intentional) act of kindness and love each day. It should be fairly challenging for me because I’m such an introvert and I’m frequently holed up in my room when I’m not in class or attending meetings. I hope that by going a bit out of my way to show love to others, I can put the mission and vision of The World Needs More Love Letters into practice and show others that they are worth more time and effort than some people might give them.
Because I want my life to one giant love letter: one filled with care, thoughtfulness, and intention. The world is my fancy stationery and my deeds are the ink.
One that declares that I’m not here just for myself; I’m here for others, too. I firmly believe that, even if I’m not always good at showing it.
One that lets others know that they are worthy of love and compassion and respect in a world that is dishearteningly self-centered and distracted. I’m sure I’ve contributed to that culture, and I hope these 40 days make me more aware of the ways I do.
At the end of Lent (and maybe halfway through, too), I’ll write up another blog post in which I will (hopefully) have arrived at a solid definition of what it means to live a life that is sealed with love.
Wish me luck! Encouraging comments, hugs, and gifts of mini Reese’s cups and hot cocoa mix are appreciated. Just don’t give me soda, because I’m swearing the stuff off for Lent. And hopefully for good, even after those 40 days end.