Maintaining a friendship made on holiday, my 7 year-old princess has discovered the joy of letter-writing.
Correspondence between the two friends has few words but lots of glitter and quirky pictures that make us all smile. Even the envelopes – in varying shades of pink and purple – are adorned with sparkle, stickers, and metallic pen (ahem – that would be MY metallic pen!).
In the age of instant online messaging, letter-writing is something I rarely do. In fact, the most time-consuming aspect of the process is finding suitable paper, envelopes, stamps and addresses. But a hand-written note is a precious thing – it is an investment in a relationship, and for the recipient it is a welcome relief from the usual junk, requests and bills pouring through the letterbox.
During those times when God seems far away, and I feel I can’t connect with Him, I write him a letter. I don’t necessarily use paper and an envelope – sometimes I just write in my journal. If I can, I’ll read a Bible passage before I begin. Psalm 118 is a good place to go when I don’t know where to turn. Verse 5 says “In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free.”
Putting pen to paper can be hard. But if we simply write “Father” “Dear Daddy” or “Dear God” – however we like to express our relationship with Him – then we’ve made a start.
It’s OK to pour out everything on our minds, ask questions, rant, challenge, complain. When allowing the words to flow this like, I often find my heart softens, I open up a little, and am able to confess God’s love and power. In hard times, it may take a few letters to feel a sense of closeness and security in Him.
And when I’m there, I might just send a letter to someone else – and bring a little joy (and glitter) to their letterbox.