Saturday, November 19, 2016

Getting Personal With Your Pen-Pal

Did you ever have a pen pal?

I read a blog post by Lyli Dunbar of 3-D Lessons for Life the other day about creating space to connect with our Creator (you can read it here). Carving out time to sit at His feet to renew your passion and purpose.

One of her suggestions was to "Make God your pen-pal. Write God a love letter. Pour out your heart to the One who mends the brokenhearted."

I love the idea of making God my pen-pal.

When I was in grammar school--maybe fourth grade--we were assigned pen pals. We were able to choose the gender and the country we desired our mysterious new friend to hail from. Without computers to calculate fancy algorithms, I'm not sure how this was accomplished, but I was thrilled with my choice.

I still remember her name and address. Josephine Larkin from Ireland. I thought it odd that her address didn't include a house number and street.

I was genuinely interested in her life, especially because it was vastly different from mine. She lived on a farm, where everyone in the family worked. She didn't have a lot of money. And there were so many people in her family photo! I loved that picture and I think we kept in contact for years until we just stopped.

What would it be like if I treated God like a pen pal? 

Like someone I was genuinely interested in knowing about instead of just telling him about my life and my problems. What if I remembered my manners and asked questions about Him?

For a little fun, I've put together our exchange.

Dear God,
My name is Mary. I'm well over fifty. I enjoy reading, hiking, singing, traveling, and making people laugh. Running, not so much, but I do it anyway for my health. I'm married to a wonderful man and I have two great children. Everyone says those things about their family, but mine is actually true. But enough about me. I want to know about you.

Tell me about your family.
What are your interests, hobbies and skills?
What is it like where you live? I admit, I've heard of Heaven, but I don't know much about it.

I'd seal it, send it off, and check my mailbox each day for a response.

I imagine Him chuckling, and saying to Saint Peter, "Do you have a pen on you? I've got to write a letter to this adorable child."

Petey would pat his robe, and say, "I had one, but it ran out of ink, and I haven't been able to get out to Staples yet." 

God would wave him off and say, "Never mind, I'll just use my finger."

Dear Mary,
Thank you for your letter. I am thrilled to learn all about you. It may surprise you to know that I already know everything about you. No, I haven't been stalking you. I created you, and I've watched you over the years. But I still love to receive your letters. Please don't stop writing. I'd hate to lose the connection we have.

In answer to your questions:

My family is small--just three of us, but we're so close, we're like One. On the other hand, my extended family is enormous. Many people call me Father and if you feel comfortable, I welcome you to as well.

My interests are my people--my family. I enjoy giving gifts and lavishing love. Spreading joy. Instilling wonder. 

Fashioning new life is a favorite hobby, and I must admit, I'm quite skilled in this area. I've never duplicated my efforts. Not once! Every life I create is unique. Isn't that the coolest?

Much of the time, those lives I create encounter hurt and hatred and fear and anxiety and a host of other things I am not the father of. These lives become broken and their relationships become fragmented. My passion is in healing those shattered lives and rebuilding those fractured relationships. Lots of times, I ask members of my extended family on earth to help. I might even ask you someday!

My home is Heaven, yes. Oh, how to describe it? 

The colors are like nothing you have ever seen on earth. The weather is always perfect. There is never darkness, but always light. 

And the music? Wow...there are no words to adequately describe the sounds. You know how there's always that one dear, sweet soul who stands next to you in choir or behind you in the pew at church and sings just a tad off-key, so it throws you off? Not here. Everyone has perfect pitch, and exquisite harmonies. We sing a lot up here. Because you mentioned you like to sing, you'd really enjoy it. 

I'd invite you for a visit, but no one who visits ever wants to return, and you're still needed there on earth. Someday, you'll come for good. I have a little grass hut on the clearest water you've ever seen picked out with your name on it. Since you like to travel, I think you'll love it!

Oh, you mentioned your health. You won't have to run for better health when you get here, so leave your sneakers there. In fact, leave it all. You won't need anything.

Which leads me to leave you with this one last thought:

Don't waste time trying to accumulate wealth, knowledge, or tangible goods. Those commodities are all very noble and admirable and good, but when it becomes excessive, you might be in danger of losing sight of what is really important. You can't bring any of that to where I live--which is your true Home. 

Since we just met, I won't tell you what to do, but as our relationship grows, I believe you'll look to me for guidance. At least, that is my hope. With that in mind, may I suggest that you fix your interests not on the things of your world, but on the people in it, like I do? I think you'll find great pleasure in doing so.

Thank you for taking such an interest in me. I'm looking forward to many years of communication. Write soon!

Imagine my excitement when I open my mailbox and see that letter finally sitting quietly in there. I would read it with great delight and be filled with exhilaration and joy at the idea of having not just a wonderful new pen-pal, but what I think will be a life-long friend, confidante, and advisor.

Then I'd grab a pen and another sheet of paper--no, two. 

I have so many more questions!

Blessings Along the Path,

sharing with some of these lovelies 


  1. This is delightful, Mary. I know that God longs for us to draw close, and writing is just one of the ways that we express our love for Him.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. This is wonderful! I love the idea of you getting letters from Jesus. So cool! I write in a prayer journal and it's similar to what you are describing, but the words you put to life here from the Father is neat. Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you Nicki. What's the best is when we journal, then listen and record the personal words our Father tells us, then write a little more, then listen, and repeat. I have journals that have these conversations in them. Those times are so precious! Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. I'll be sharing this with my kids today! Love it!

    1. Thank you, Helene! I'm honored that you'd share this with your kids. Blessings.

  4. What a creative and inspiring exercise, Mary! I write my prayers every day but have never really thought about how God would answer my questions. I love the thoughtful and wise answers you give us. They sure make the Lord and heaven that much clearer for us. Happy Thanksgiving to you, lovely (and funny) lady!

    1. Thanks, Beth. I tried to keep those answers true to what I've read in the Bible..with the exception of the grass hut on the clear water. That's my own interpretation of the mansion I'll come Home to.

  5. You're so creative, Mary! (I am NOT a fan of handwriting ... it hurts my wrists ...) but ... I am doing some Bible study journaling these days ... and am enjoying it ... I smiled as I read through your return letter. It is so personal! Love this post!

  6. I love the idea of God as our penpal.

    If you'd like another penpal, I am having a 2017 PenPal sign-up on my blog:

    I hope you will consider joining in :)


  7. This is a lovely way to think of our relationship with God! I was blessed by reading your musings here, and I'm so glad you shared them with us at Grace & Truth!

  8. So fun, I love this. When I was a new believer I began my prayer life in a similar fashion. :)