Love letters

My administrative assistant has a daughter preparing for college. This young lady has made it her business to see how many scholarship offers she can get. She has recently been waiting for a letter from a certain university to arrive by the old fashioned snail mail. This university doesn’t know it but they are in the running for the number one spot. She is excited and so are her parents for obvious reasons. The family made a pact that she would not open this precious piece of mail until they could all be together. The university has added some hype by sending their target an electronic temptation. They let her know the letter was on the way.

Now I know letters by the US postal service aren’t the norm anymore. We enjoy quick communication and have come to expect it, even demand it. But… consider the anticipation of this young woman as she stares at her envelope wondering what is inside. She is about to find out what God has in store for her future. She is anxious and fearful all at the same time. The best part about the letter will be that she can keep it forever. No accidental delete button to destroy this message.

For twelve years, I have been receiving different types of encouragements from the female inmates I minister to. These letters have been collected and stored neatly in a file for years and years. Each time I receive one of these prayers, drawings or poems I read it and carefully then placed it among the others. Over time I have grown so accustomed to this practice that I admit I haven’t enjoyed them as I should have.

Not long ago a voice on the answering machine at the ministry office was asking for a poem they had written for me over a year ago. The paper copy had been given to me and the owner had lost her original copy. She was asking if we could locate the copy she had given me and return it to her. The staff looked at me bewildered.

I smiled knowing exactly where that precious piece of paper was. The file was removed from its comfortable perch on the rails of the file drawer. I was amazed at how thick it had become. So bulky it needed two hands to protect the contents from scattering. Some were long and descriptive. Most filled with scripture. God was speaking to me through those forgotten notes. HE was reminding me of the mission He has called me to. The women professed their love to God and to me. I found the missing poem in a matter of minutes but I took my time browsing through the rest of the folder savoring the musty smell of the prison paper knowing how much God loves those women.

How incredibly loving of Our God to send not one but hundreds of love letters to a tired missionary. These letters were very near me every day but I was so busy with day to day tasks I didn’t bother to look at them. I am not ready to return the folder to its home just yet. I plan to post some of the notes or phrases in the next few weeks. I pray you will receive a blessing from them.

A copy of the young woman’s paper was returned by the US postal service for her to keep forever.

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