Letters. Correspondence. Meaningful dialogue and conversation through the written word. Leaders have done it all throughout time, and many influential people have conducted meaningful give and take with the public through the sending and receiving of letters. At one time in my ministerial life, I recall having a conversation with a select group of friends on the importance of letter writing. Because of this, I've chosen to initiate an experiment and to take a risk, to open myself up to the conducting of a meaningful and helpful exchange with anyone and everyone who would take the time to ask me for my thoughts, my counsel, my advice, or my limited wisdom. Keep reading. Below, you'll find a way to reach me. I want you to write, and I promise a letter in return.
I have contemplated this practice for some time. Letters are a treasure to be kept and revisited, time and again. I have tucked away in my files short notes written long ago, some incredibly simple, that I dig out from time to time to receive encouragement or to spark memories. Many of these letters are from dear friends or family members whose words have been invaluable to me, tokens of love and care that have carried me through tough times or lifted my spirits following some of my life's greatest victories or worst defeats.
As technology provides more ways to bypass the old practices of writing letters longhand, whether it be through micro-communication services like Twitter or electronic communication like email, passing a letter on to the postman for delivery is a practice that is disappearing. I love e-communication, but there is a concreteness that is lost, whether it be the uniqueness of a signature or the unmistakable nature of script, as well as the anticipation and excitement that comes in opening the mailbox and peering inside, waiting to explore the mysteries within. The constant chimes or notifications that alert the arrival of a new tweet, Facebook comment, or email message do not stir the same kind of emotion. There is less marvel in electronic communication, not because it is not marvelous, but has become altogether too familiar, simple, and taken for granted.
This shift in communication methods has tempted me toward risk. The risk is simple: appealing for correspondence, asking those who would write to write, with the promise of a note in return. The topic of conversation I am most interested in is of course the theological, those concerns that we as human beings have concerning the question (or the reality, as I would claim) of God. My answers to these questions will be informed by the Christian tradition, the Bible and the best of Christian theology that I have come to grasp, but the questions that I would field would not necessarily have to come from Christians alone. I acknowledge I have much to learn from skeptics and the irreligious, as well as those beckoning from other religious traditions.
My style and form of writing is done best at the keyboard--I will not promise hand written replies, though from time to time I might choose longhand over type. But if you prefer, you may choose to communicate with me through something other than a strict letter form, through poetry or art or some other medium. If you wish to send an image or a poem, with your permission I might want to republish it here, or respond in some other way.
If you have a desire to communicate through an old but still useful medium, drop me a letter:
Benjamin A. Simpson
P.O. Box 249
De Soto, KS 66018-0249
I eagerly await the surprises that will come, and the conversations that will ensue.
And for those that are new school, but would like to correspond nonetheless, contact me via email. The conversation, the friendship, and the mutual quest for truth is what counts most.