I just got back from a "ski" trip in Tahoe with Esther's suitemates and some friends. I say "ski" because I had a lot of work to catch up on going into the weekend, and I figured I might need to spend a day catching up. As it turned out, I basically spent the entire weekend writing home to the family.
I was thinking about that the other day, and I realized that one way to think about my letters home (which can be fairly substantial; this weekend's was about 5,300 words) is in terms of accountability. I suppose that won't help readers who aren't immersed in the evangelical tradition. But for those who are, it occurred to me that there is more to my family's tradition of weekly letters than just the fact that they are The Family, and we believe that families ought to be (though admittedly they frequently aren't) real entities. I strongly suspect that family is intended to be a picture of Godhead - i.e., a dim mortal illustration of how one being can be composed of multiple persons.
But besides that, my family consists of my principal counselors and (if you will) accountability partners. You can't cut yourself off from those people without cutting yourself off from a serious flow of God-ordained life and blessings. It is unfortunate that they are hundreds of miles away, but thanks to the miracle of the internet we can still communicate seriously and meaningfully, and speak life into each other's lives. It is not strange when accountability partners or a mentor-mentee couple spend hours talking to each other, and that is in a very real sense what I do when I spend hours writing home.