More than kisses, letters mingle souls. –John Donne, author and poet
When my children were little, they loved to sing this little ditty from Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues: “We just got a letter, we just got a letter, we just got a letter…I wonder who it’s from?” Maybe you’ve heard of it? (And if not, sorry for the brain worm!) They would sing this song on the way to the mailbox daily. The song continued no matter what kind of mail had arrived. Electric bill…sing. Junk mail…sing. Not at this address…sing. You get the picture. When an actual package, card or letter would arrive (grandmas are awesome for this,) there would be absolute pandemonium–sheer unbridled jubilation! As holidays approached, especially birthdays, the anticipation level in the house was off the charts. Today, they’re “super chill” teenagers, but I can still feel this same anticipation meter slowly (and in the most cool manner ever) rise like in the “old” days! It makes my heart smile.
I had one of those heart smile moments just the other day at church. As part of our CARDS ministry, a large display sits in the gathering area outside the Sanctuary. This portable, mini Hallmark booth houses handmade greeting cards for all occasions. Anyone is welcome to browse and choose one of these colorful creations in exchange for a $1 donation to the larger ministry which sends these amazing little gems overseas to our service men and women (who then fill them out and send them home to their families and loved ones.) It’s a beautiful circle of love, one that mutually benefits the card crafters, our country’s service personnel, military families and friends, our church community and, above all, brings honor to our Creator. It’s such an amazing mission ministry, but here’s the part where my heart smiled. While walking through the gathering area with a group of elementary girls, one young lady stopped to pause. And while it’s not unusual for the kiddos who participate in our Wednesday night children’s ministry programs to check out the display, she pointed several out to me, and shared that she had recently bought one herself.
I was taken aback, fourth graders aren’t your typical greeting card shoppers. She said it was for her mother’s birthday. Later, when I had an opportunity, I asked her about the card. She told me that she had been scoping the cards out for weeks, trying to pick the very best one. At the same time, she started saving her coins. When her mother’s birthday arrived, she had reached her $1 goal and chose a card. She said, “I’m a kid. I can’t go to the store…I wanted my mom to have something beautiful to open on her birthday.” And just like that, the mission field expanded. Heart smile…can you feel it?
I always tell people that amazing and wonderful things happen at church! And while I believe God is truly everywhere, it seems as if the Holy Spirit is palpable here…how else could we get filled up each week, ready to share the Good News and be Light to others? When I went home that night, I thought about that little girl and the card she gave to her mom. As a mother myself, I know what treasures these gifts are! Written on that card in ink pen she would find more than her sweet child’s fourth grade handwriting and autograph, she would experience thoughtfulness, a child’s innocence, and unconditional love. Words written on mere paper, yet guaranteed to leave a permanent mark on a mother’s heart. In an age of texts and emails, it is gratifying to know (that on so many levels) the pen remains mighty indeed.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 3:3