THE POWER OF PERSONAL LETTERS
I relish the gift of finding a personal letter in my mailbox, especially on hard days. Written words have a unique capacity to convey God’s grace (as described in Chronic Joy’s printable resource, #PenToPaper). I vividly recall a particular afternoon when the Lord used a simple note card to bring me much-needed hope.
Bone-chilling rain pelted my jacket as I walked down the driveway to our street-side mailbox. Having been out of town for several days, I anticipated the usual pile of bills and junk mail. An initial scan confirmed what I expected until I spied a small, peach-colored envelope.
The return address identified the sender as someone I had known only a short time, piquing my curiosity as to why she had written. I quickly returned to the house and opened the card. My eyes brimmed with tears as I read generous words of appreciation related to a recent conversation at my home. She pointed out specific ways I had helped her and told me she treasured our time together.
At that moment, I was struggling through a pain flare and aching for encouragement. My new friend could never have known God would time the arrival of her note to remind me of His love. She had simply said “Yes” to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, offering a tangible act of kindness that made an enormous difference in my day.
#PenToPaper highlights the power of letter-writing through this quote from David Mathis, “God has spoken, so we speak. God has written, so we write – not to eclipse God’s words but to illumine them, explain them, celebrate them, and offer them to others.”
THE POWER OF PUTTING PEN TO PAPER
Words can be delivered in many ways—through texts, e-mail, FaceTime, and more – but I’m still a big fan of “snail mail.” I savor the surprise of a letter penned with care on paper I can hold in my hands. Along with being a grateful recipient, I also genuinely enjoy sending notes to others. #PenToPaper provides practical tools for when I need fresh inspiration or insight.
The printable resource features thirteen examples of thoughts to share or questions to ask, such as
- an uplifting quote,
- a favorite Bible verse,
- what your typical day is like, or
- what you are reading/learning.
In addition, there are fifteen possibilities of people to whom you can write, including
- loved ones,
- someone who is ill,
- a person who is grieving, or
- someone who has made a difference in your life.
Writing letters has become especially meaningful now that I deal with chronic pain. My capacity to serve others is much more limited than in previous life seasons, but I can still send cards in the mail. Having the privilege of brightening someone’s day with a note reminds me the Lord has important purposes for my life, even though they look different than in years past.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity to be a messenger of hope. I desire to write as an avenue of Your grace, with the Holy Spirit’s guidance and wisdom. I trust You and praise You in advance for Your help. In Jesus’ name, amen.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What holds you back from sending notes or letters?
- Whom might God be asking you to serve (as an expression of His love) through writing?
- How could you incorporate ideas from #PenToPaper?
I invite you to discover #PenToPaper, “… a ministry of the heart, God’s love poured into us, infusing each word we write, to the heart of another.” In reaching out to others, I know you will be blessed!
Lee Ann Zanon
Chronic Joy® Staff Writer
Lee Ann is passionate about spreading the truth of Scripture. For decades, she served in various women’s ministry roles (including teaching at Corban University for ten years) until chronic pain dramatically changed her life. Her background as a Bible teacher, retreat speaker, worship leader, editor, and writer has prepared her perfectly for her current focus on writing and providing one-on-one encouragement. Lee Ann and her husband Mike live in Salem, Oregon. They have two married daughters and four grandchildren. She is the author of Honest Hope.
#PenToPaper - Ministry of Letter Writing
#PenToPaper is a ministry of the heart: God’s love, poured into us, infuses each word we write to the heart of another. What an encouraging reason to pick up your pen and write!