“A Letter is a Joy of Earth…” wrote Emily Dickinson in 1895, and she’s right. The art of letter writing can be a vital, life-giving ministry of hope to those who are hurting, grieving, recovering, homebound, lonely, ill or isolated.
While life-giving to the receiver, letter writing is also life-nourishing to the writer. Studies have shown that putting #PenToPaper:
- builds motor memory
- increases brain development and cognition
- makes physical wounds heal faster
- keeps us focused on the present moment
- improves sleep
- elevates our mood
- decreases stress and depression
- increases creativity and critical thinking
- improves our overall well being
J. R. Miller, author of Intimate Letters on Personal Problems, published in 1914, wrote:
“…Go on, my dear friend, in your ministry of letter-writing, and let Christ use your pen in this way for his service. God has given you a big heart—a great fountain of love and sympathy and cheer. Let the streams pour out continually in all directions, to bless the world. Hundreds and thousands of people need encouragement and uplifting. You will scarcely meet one man or one woman…whom you cannot make a little stronger or braver—by saying the right word.”
Would you like to put #PenToPaper to encourage and lift another up, to offer hope, to let someone know they are not alone, that are prayed for, cared for and loved?
If writing longhand is difficult for you, remember that letters don’t need to be long to remind someone that they matter. The important thing is to begin. And there is no better place to begin than prayer. Ask God who needs an encouraging word or a handwritten prayer today.
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