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.
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."
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
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Getting Personal With Your Pen-Pal
I'm a person of creativity. I've always loved to entertain people, and especially, to make them laugh. I don't mind being the guinea pig, the one who is singled out to break the ice. I write what you think but don't want to admit. I'm a word nerd and a grammar geek. I love musical theatre, hiking, and worshipping my Lord, my King-the King of Glory. It's my desire to bring hope and healing to hurting individuals-or perhaps just to provoke thought, to give an encouraging word to get you through the day-through everyday situations and insights into God's Word.