Day 27: Missions in a Mailbox

One of the easiest and yet most profound ministries you can do is waiting for you at the post office.  It is the missions of mail.

James, John, Peter, Jude, Paul had the missions of mail.  They all wrote letters to help unite and purify the fellowship of believers.  We have the letters that God inspired them to write in our Bibles.  In the New Testament, all but the four Gospels and Acts (which are historical accounts) are letters–even Revelation!  We don’t think about it, but as we open our New Testament we are really opening a mailbox of letters from James, John, Peter, Jude, and Paul!  (And the writer of Hebrews.)

You and I are never going to write something on the level of the New Testament, because God inspired those letters.  But we do have the opportunity, in a small way, to do what the authors of the New Testament letters did: encourage our believing friends and share the salvation we have found in Christ with our unbelieving friends.

That sounds scary.

A lot of times we don’t send ordinary mail–much less Christ-focused mail–because we think we just can’t do it.  We think,

  • “I wouldn’t know what to say.”
  • “I’d probably say the wrong thing.”
  • “It’d take me too long to write.”
  • “I’m a terrible speller.”

In actuality, no one has an excuse for not using missions in our mailboxes unless we are totally broke and have no access to a computer or cell phone or scrap of paper.  😉

But what if you just can’t write?  If you got an F in your English composition courses?

You do not have to be able to write well to communicate profoundly.  Many friends will appreciate if you just try to write what’s on your heart, even if you’re not the next Robert Frost.

Many of my keepsake “letters” are cartoon drawings with speech bubbles that my father made for me to take on my trip away from home.   If you feel you can’t draw or write or if you feel you don’t have enough time, you can still communicate profoundly by choosing a heartfelt card.

You can give a letter or card through email, too.  One of the most meaningful emails I ever got wasn’t for me.  It was an email my father sent to a friend about my graduation ceremony.  My father only wrote a sentence about it, but he talked about something I’d done at the ceremony.  It has been 7 years since my father died, and I still remember that email.

Even a comment on facebook or in a text can engage a nonbeliever or help a believer in ways you could never expect.  A friend of mine received a daily forward of a Scripture verse from her friend.  One day, she was in the car praying about whether or not to go on a missions trip to Africa, and her friend forwarded her a verse that God used to help her know she needed to go.

If you want to send a non-electronic letter or card to a friend, you don’t have to blow  your savings account on stationary.  😉

  • Regular notebook paper works (and notebooks are usually on sale right before school starts).
  • Check a Christian bookstores in your area to see if they carry the 99-cent Dayspring “Little Inspirations” cards.
  • Look for deals on cards after holidays.
  • You can stock up on blank note cards.
  • If you like a bit of crafts, you can buy patterned paper at a craft store for less than a dollar, fold it in half, and write on the inside.

A lesson I’ve learned, girls, is don’t get so ambitious about the stationary that you get overwhelmed by the choices, or spend too much money or time,  or forget to focus on the message.  If the message doesn’t reflect your heart for Christ, no quality of stationary or handmade card is going to take its place.  The message comes first.  If Peter had waited to write his letters until he knew what kind of patterned paper he wanted, we’d be in real trouble.  Remember, it isn’t the appearance of the letter, but the appearance of Jesus in your letter that matters!

Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 6:10-11, NLT)