I've been blogging this month for Compassion International as a part of blog month. My last post was actually one of our assignments...to write a letter to God about child sponsorship.
It was hard.
There are a lot if reasons why it shouldn't have been. First of all, I was writing a letter to my Father, whom I have been in relationship with for fourteen years. Secondly, I have always written letters to God. One way or another, I have always kept a devotion book, addressing my entries "Dear God" and closing with "Your child, me."
But there are also a lot of reasons why it was hard. I'm a little rusty in that department, for one thing. It's been a little while since I have been faithfully journaling. It's hard for me to admit that. I pray and study the Bible and teach and talk about it...but it's not the same. There's something dear to me about the time I once got to spend alone with my notebook, pen, and God. Now, there aren't so many quiet moments in my house...any time I can grab with God is precious.
My last post reminded me that "letter time" is sacred.
It was also hard to write a letter to God that I also planned to share with the world. I didn't want to be flowery or fancy or creative. I wanted to be sincere. I don't want to care how many comments that post gets. It was meant for God.
My last post reminded me of how personal my letters to God are...how intimate the relationship we have.
Just as there are some parts of my marriage that are just for me and Jonathan to know, so it is with God and me. Some stuff is super personal, and my letter-post turned out to be so.
Jonathan will tell you that I have a special box in the house that no one is allowed to mess with. When I was younger, I always kept this box in a place where I could grab it quickly if the house caught on fire...I was a little paranoid! The point is, the box is precious, and it is private. It is my box full of letters to God.
Occasionally, I go back and read what is ultimately a history of my Christian life. There are fourteen years' worth of prayers, tears, and joy. I can trace the time when I didn't know anything about God or the Bible to now; so many Bible studies and personal hours of sweet fellowship with God.
It's awfully sweet to have a past with God...to have a history.
It's awfully sweet to be able to recount, in sometimes painful detail, how He has been at work making me more and more new.
The letters from me to God are precious...a link between us...not nearly as precious as His words to me, of course.
I think about this in relation to my sponsored kids. I have always heard that they save the letters from their sponsors. One story of a young woman that I heard recounted how, when she was forced to flee her home with only what she could carry, the one thing she took was her sponsor's letters. When I heard that story, it reminded me forcefully of MY box of letters. The letters are very dear.
You see, my sponsored kids and I have a history. Maybe we haven't met in person, or at least have not met often--but there is a link between us. That link is letters. I have come to see their hearts through the letters that they write. Our relationship stretches over thousands of miles, and each word forms a bridge between us.
My letters to God are about me reaching out to Him, anxious for relationship, for a taste of His presence.
My letters both to and from my sponsored kids are the same.
There is a new item on top of my letter box...a very precious folder. In it are all the letters I have from my sponsored children. Through them, I can trace our history, from a time when all I knew about them was their name and maybe what they looked like, until now, when I know their hopes, dreams, and fears.
It is sweet to have a history.
It is sweet to know that somewhere out there, someone is keeping my letters stashed away in a box or bag, under a bed or on a shelf.
It is sweetest to know that I was schooled in the art of letter-writing in God's presence.