A letter arrived on the doormat. It was addressed to my ten year old son, with the words “a letter from your sponsored child” printed on the envelope. My boy eagerly tore it open, and as he read the letter from Olga, the girl we sponsor through Compassion, his eyes filled with tears.
“You are very special to my life. You are in my heart and thoughts. I close with a kiss and these words: When you feel sad or worried do not doubt to call me although I don’t have anything to give you but I kneel down to ask God for your needs and friend forever.”
These words, penned thousands of miles away, by a ten year old girl who has so little, are quite simply some of the most touching, beautiful words I’ve ever read.
They have never met, probably never will, and yet their lives are connected. They pray for one another and their families. Their friendship impacts each other’s lives in a powerful way that goes way beyond the financial support that the sponsorship provides.
Right at that moment, with my boy standing in the kitchen with me, letter in hand, eyes glistening with tears, I had a little conversation with myself, that went something like this:
My conscience: “Hey, isn’t it nice to receive a letter from someone who took the time to show they care about you? It can make someone’s day, a bit like receiving a hug through the post.”
Me: “Yeah don’t get all soppy on me, just because I’m getting a bit emotional. Look, we’ve got email and text these days which are so much quicker. Why would I write a letter when I’m so busy, my handwriting is shocking, and the price of stamps is through the roof? Anyway, once I start writing I get so carried away that I end up giving a week by week account of my life from the past year, and who wants to read that? ”
My conscience: “Why not do it next time you make yourself a cuppa, ten minutes before you have to step out of the door? That way you have a time limit and you’ll be going out past the post office anyway. While the husband is away from home he would love to receive a letter from you, just like old times. Honestly, it would make his day while he’s missing home so much”.
Me: “I don’t have any nice paper, and I don’t have time to rummage around looking for an envelope and a pen that actually works. Oh, and I’d really love to spend the rest of the day queuing up to buy a stamp”.
My conscience: “Hmmm, I can just imagine him saying ‘Thanks for the letter honey, but seriously, couldn’t you manage to find some prettier paper than the back of some junk mail? Please do better next time and be sure to use pink paper, a matching envelope and a calligraphy pen please.’ Look, is he not worth spending five minutes in a post office queue? Come on, you’ll have to do better than that for an excuse, you procrastinating, lazy, pathetic time-waster.”
Me: “Erm, your Royal Higher Self-ishness, what’s with the name-calling? Quit sinking down to my level, that’s my territory. Look, Miss Know-it-all, I don’t exactly find your guilt-inducing methods of persuasion very motivational. Aren’t you supposed to be the good girl, you know, the nice side of me? Seriously, if you don’t shut up I’m gonna have to start singing just to block you out.”
My conscience: “No don’t do that! Please, I’m sorry, but you have no idea what a nightmare this job is! You never listen to me and I don’t understand why, when I’m ALWAYS right!! Your life would be so much better if you’d just do what I tell you to do instead of making excuses and pretending I don’t exist!”
Me: “Okay, okay, I hear you. Please, don’t lose your mind. I mean my mind. I mean…whatever. My head is way too messed up with all this weirdness to write a letter. I’m telling you, if I start writing now, it’s gonna be all crazy rubbish.
My conscience: (sobbing) “Please, I promise to be nice in future. Come on, I’ll get off your back if you do this”.
And so I made a cuppa and proceeded to scribble a letter to my husband. Or should I say, the rabbit wrote him a letter, telling him how much she was missing their evening TV routine….…and then I wrote him some poetry about the mountain of laundry in the bedroom, you know, just to cheer him up.
Yes, I wrote him a pretty weird letter. In a hurry. With a pen that hardly worked, on the back of some music manuscript I didn’t need.
He loved it. It arrived when he was having a tough day. It made him laugh, cheered him up, made him feel special, made him feel missed (at least by the rabbit). It reminded him that he was very very loved. It made him realise that without him home, his wife is losing her mind…
I might just write him another one. And I might start listening to my crazy conscience a bit more often.
There are always people to write to. There are people I have never met that I can write to. There are people in prison in certain parts of the world because of what they believe. They would love to receive a letter of encouragement. Or you could sponsor a child through Compassion and exchange letters with them.
Write to people, both loved ones and strangers, who need to know that someone, somewhere, cares.
So, at the risk of sounding like your conscience, (hopefully yours isn’t as mixed up as mine)….start the write revolution in your own life. Sit on the sofa, get some music playing, and some coffee brewing, and just write. It’s actually really relaxing. Just do it for ten minutes if you’re in a hurry. No more excuses. No more procrastination. It will not only bless the recipient, but you will feel a sense of joy, accomplishment and blessing too.
Go on, make someone’s day. Bring a smile to their face. Write now.