Write to someone and thank them
To my shame, I still have one such letter to write in the wake of Christmas, so I'll do that shortly (OK, yes, I've finished my sermon - but now I'm avoiding writing a talk for the parish on Faces of India - so expect lots of blog activity today). I'm very conscious that the rule that my parents inculcated "Write every thank you letter before Twelfth Night" has well and truly gone by the board - I don't always manage to open all the presents by then. And I often take the easy option of emailing rather than writing a real letter with pen and ink (partly, at least, because that way I don't have to make space on my desk to do so)...
So in a moment I shall write a real letter, on nice thick cream paper. It will probably be shorter than the email version, since I type at an alarming rate...but it will be a letter, a real, live, delivered-by-the-postman letter.
However, since I'm trying to include my blog friends in this Lenten journey, I thought I'd write to you as well. Forgive the keyboard, and the lack of personalisation. The sentiments are genuine.
Just after ordination, in August 2004 I began to write this blog. Two or three good friends were blogging already, and it seemed to me that it wasn't really fair if I commented on their blogs without providing similar hospitality myself. But I had no idea that anyone I didn't know would ever arrive here, and less than no expectation that blogging would turn out to be such a life-enhancing activity.
But, of course, you've surprised me in the very best ways. You've bothered to drop in here, to stop for long enough to read and comment, to invite me to your homes...and now we're friends. You've taken me seriously as a writer, but you've also laughed at my silliness. You've sent hugs, prayers and encouragement when the going was hard. You've made the world seem a much more intimate, connected place - and thus given me courage when despatching children to far off lands, or even heading off myself. You've reminded me of buried talents and unrealised dreams, that it might just be possible to revive. You've shared your stories, your journeys, and yourselves. Some of you have even gone out of your way to meet me face to face, and make virtual friendships real. For all this, thank you seems rather inadequate...but I do thank you, all of you.
Lots of love and hugs,