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If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

To My Dear Friend, Whom I Love

I got an e-mail the other day. It did not begin with the usual greeting: "Hi" or "Dena," or "Dear Dena." Nothing to soften the business-like nature of the ensuing message.
Without the salutation, I wasn't even sure that the e-mail was specifically for me.
The e-mailer knew that I've been under the weather the past couple of days. But no "How are you?"
Nope. Just the terse message, followed by the sender's name. No "love" or "sincerely" or even "respectfully."
Fortunately, I know the sender. I know that she's really a lovely person.
But that e-mail was about as warm as divorce papers.
The tone of the message, without the cushioning effects of the salutation and the other niceties once such a part of Western society's civil exchanges, sounded cold, rude.
So sad that, in our drive to be quick and efficient, we've lost that cordiality.

Now the Apostle Paul really knew how to write a letter. His greetings are warm, thankful, filled with phrases expressing his sincere delight in and love for the recipients of the letter. He'd no sooner get down to business, omitting these loving words, than the Dodgers would dispense with "The Stars Spangled Banner" at the beginning of the game.
Paul begins 1st Cor. like this: "Paul. . . an Apostle. . . . to the church. . . in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus. . . "
Ephesians begins similarly: "Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus. . . Grace and peace to you . . . "

Isn't that lovely?
Wouldn't you love to receive a letter that begins like that?
I know I would.
So I going to try to remember Paul's grand and grace-filled style whenever I contact anyone by letter or email. Even by phone.
Let's start a new trend!


  1. Dena,
    What a beautiful reminder to add personal touches when we write notes and emails. I realize that I have been guilty of leaving these out when I am in a hurry. Shortness of time is no excuse for being rude.
    God's grace and peace to you.
    (did I do okay?)

  2. I like the salutation and close, but I don't use them in all emails. I typically use them on the first email, but as the emails start flying back and forth between me and another person, I just put the message. Once in a while, I say things like, "Dear weirdo," but I don't think that is what you are talking about, is it? I agree that emails have made people more rude, and that isn't a trend that should continue.

  3. Diane, grace to you as well. Isn't that wonderful? I'll bet if we keep this up, others will take up the beautiful salutations.

  4. I'm not sure "weirdo" qualifies as a grace-filled salutation, Denise. Hahaha. I love your sense of humor. You are so witty. But I know what you mean about the emails flying back and forth and leaving out a "dear whoever" each time.