Are you more the matter-of-fact type, who tell it like it is, or one who’s more sensitive, sometimes skirting around a hurtful issue? There’s some wisdom in both. The Auto Memory Dolls of Violet Evergarden, young ladies who dress up important messages that must delivered with the pertinent information, require both types of skills, employing one, diction, and style that is appropriate for each letter. The title character, a veteran recently returning from war, excels at being straightfoward, but fails in matters of tact.
Violet’s job, and those of the other dolls, reminds of the work of the Apostle Paul, who wrote letters to various churches. Her letters, though she is still learning how to write them, are written to help others express their feelings or relate important decisions they are making. Paul did the same, except the letters were written and sent by him.
During episode three, Violet attends an Auto Memory Doll Training School where meets Luculia Marlborough. Her new friend tells her about her brother, who was injured during the war and is now a drunk. He is suffering with depression, loneliness, and feelings of failure. Meanwhile, Violet is struggling, too, with a lack of emotion that hinders her from understanding how to write a letter to others properly. She will write customers’ words out as they are, without any feeling or added emphasis. Clients refuse to work with her since Violet’s letters sound too matter of fact and lack that softer touch.
When I read the letters of the Apostle Paul in the Bible, he is pretty straight forward, too. At one point, he even instructed to send a man who was living in sin out of the church and to the devil (1 Corinthians 5:1-5). His writings comprise about half of the New Testament, and the words in his thirteen letters are preached every Sunday all over the world. No doubt did they contribute to the way Christians experience God on a daily basis. Through many examples, Paul gave color and description to what it is to be a believer in this world. Violet, however, in unable to do the same. She gets in trouble for writing out exactly what the clients say, and they become upset because no heart put into her words. Like a soldier, she follows directions. When you are in the armed forces, doing exactly as you are told can save your life!
I relate to cutting through the fluff and saying what’s on my mind. I’ve been told by several people before, “There’s one thing about Mike—you don’t have to guess what’s on his mind because he will tell you!” I like telling people just how things are, and though I’m aware enough to be sensitive and polite, I won’t sugar-coat issues too much. So I very much understand Violet when she speaks and writes with unabbreviated truth. Now, I’m not a robotic and insensitive person, but I think there are times where it’s important to speak clearly. I can explain what I’m feeling better and easier with fewer words. As a writer, I also try to cut out words that aren’t necessary so my articles flow more easily.
The Apostle Paul’s letters, written literally over a thousand years ago, still change lives today. I know for me, I would not be the person I am without the understanding I have of the gospel thanks to him. I love when Paul writes about preaching the gospel with power, signs, and miracles. God is supernatural. He’s not just a character in a book or an idol we talk about in a building. His majesty fills the skies every day; all creation has His mark with their uniqueness. Nature reflects his beauty and artwork. His love permeates us when we spend time in worship with Him. Talking to Him through prayer becomes a conversation, where He gives us instruction, discipline and peace. Paul is able to convey these ideas through a style that is forthwith and crafted for the audience to whom he’s writing.
By the end of episode three, Violet is able to write a letter that mirrors Paul’s conveying truth in a way that speaks to the reader both subtly and powerfully. She is able to express Luculia’s feelings to her brother; he now understands how much she cares for him. Violet’s letters are starting to change others’ lives. When she delivers the final product (or several like in episode four), the receiver understands what the sender wants to express. It might be an emotional, informational, or eye-opening response, but something is going to happen after it’s read. I hope that when I write these posts, someone can read them and be similarly impacted, if even in a small way. If not for that, I wouldn’t enjoy doing this whether here at Beneath The Tangles or on my own blog.
Just like Violet, I hope my words can reach the people they need to and leave them with something that leads them closer to their Creator.
I leave you with the first verses from Paul’s letter to the Roman church below. I thought it was a good example of why he wrote what he did even while in prison.
1 This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News. 2 God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. 3 The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, 4 and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through Christ, God has given us the privilege[c] and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.