LAST MONTH WE COMBINED Bold Women’s Day and the International Correspondence Writing Month into a challenge: write one letter every day of February to a bold woman you know or admire. (I introduced the challenge on this blog in January.) Then I encouraged you to take your list of bold women and use them in a prayer or litany on Bold Women’s Day itself.
Let me tell you a bit about my experience. (I’d love to learn about your experience, too, so post a comment below, won’t you?)
I tried to write 28 letters in the 28 days of February, but I only managed 25. And I wrote 10 of those 25 on March 2. So technically I only wrote 15 in February. Writing a letter a day is quite the commitment, I’ve concluded. (My parents wrote to each other every day while my father was overseas during WWII. Whatever did they find to write about?!)
Beyond the discipline of daily writing, I most enjoyed the discipline that came with thinking about bold women I know.
Beyond the discipline of daily writing, I most enjoyed the discipline that came with thinking about bold women I know. I wrote to one of my nieces, the mother of the friend I’ve known for 49 years, a mentor, a couple of former churchwide executive board members, a cousin, a documentary filmmaker I’ve come to know through my work. I wrote to a former churchwide staff member who dreamed up the idea for Bold Women’s Day. And I wrote to each of the 10 women with whom I work.
All the women I wrote to are bold in their own way. It was great to celebrate their boldness and to remind them that their boldness makes a difference in our world.
Let your light shine
I’ve heard back from a few of the women I wrote to, and each expressed appreciation for the letter I sent.
One woman, who has been delivering for Meals on Wheels for almost half a century, sent a note back to me: “Thanks for thinking of me as having a bold life of service. I enjoy serving and helping others through Meals on Wheels. Your comments to me make me think of our baptism verse—let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. I’ll continue as long as God allows.”
Yes, any time and in any way that we let our light so shine, we are being bold.
I felt blessed to receive four notes myself, two from women I know and two from women I’ve not yet met. I will hold on to these notes. They will be reminders of God’s love and God’s call to me in this ministry, especially on days when it is hard for me to remember either.
Other learnings from the challenge? Letters are important expressions of our feelings and opinions. Taking the time to write a letter tells the recipient that you care, that your relationship is important. As one letter-writing aficionado has said, sending a letter is the next best thing to showing up at someone’s door.
In Women of the ELCA, we are all about building and nurturing community, and what better way to do that than with a handwritten letter? There’s no need to wait until February 2020 and the next International Correspondence Writing Month. Pick up your pen and paper today.
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director of Women of the ELCA. The feature photo is hers.