I smile as I look at the subject line. I can hold his first email in my hands, because my dad printed it out for me. The year was 1997. I was in Tennessee, visiting my mother, who had cancer, and Raouf was in Beirut, Lebanon, where we lived and served at the time.
An ocean separated us, but the internet connected us. It was a new experience for us both. While we’d had internet for a many months, Raouf had never actually written one without me. Now, he was on his own — just him and the computer.
He shared about the morning church service. One of the children in my Sunday School class asked about me and David. He let me know the church had prayed for me and my mother, who had taken a turn for the worse.
Then he says, what I had already known:
This is my first e-male to write I hope that I well be able to get it to you without any help from others Thank you for the long e m you sent. I am doig OK but missing you much a bear hug to David next one it will be longer
Takecare know that you are deeply loved
As the years went by in our life together, there would be many more emails to come, as we were separated by travel and work more than once. Yet, this one holds a special place in my heart.
I may never have remembered it, where it not for my father printing it out for me. Oh, how much we lose with our digital world.
Whether you’re across the ocean or in your hometown, don’t neglect the special notes and words of those you love. Put them in a treasured place to be found when their voice is no longer heard.
You’ll be glad you did.
Grace and Peace