Try letter writing for Lent

Try letter writing for Lent

letter writing

Last year, I decided to write letters to people who impacted me in some way to say thanks and to share what their influence meant to me. The idea germinated after I read a blog about what someone was doing for Lent. Rather than fasting food or television, the person embarked on a letter writing campaign.

While I don’t often fast something for Lent, I decided to do this, though personally I believe fasting goes with prayer, not just giving something up.

This year, Easter Sunday is April 4. While they say there are 40 days of fasting prior to Good Friday, which is April 2 this year, I counted 40 days from Ash Wednesday (February 17, 2021) to Palm Sunday, March 28. I didn’t understand this last year so I ended up writing 46 letters, notes, or texts to people.

Letter writing can lower regrets

I wanted people to know what impact they had on my life. This way, before I die, I expressed my thanks and love to these people. Having shared my heart then, I’d have no regrets.

My dear friend, Kay, died of cancer before I could say goodbye and tell her what she meant to me. Sometimes this regret lays heavy on my heart. I remember others that I never shared my sentiments with, so here was my chance to make a difference. Even if it might mean nothing to them, it meant something to me. I spent a lot of time on this project. Some days, it put me behind a lot, but I stuck with it to the end.

I mailed most, but after a while, postage at 55 cents a letter adds up, thus email and texting came to the rescue. My sacrifice of time and a bit of money encouraged others, I hope, by telling them they mattered to me. In some letters, I cried. In others, I smiled or laughed. Each letter contained heart-felt, personal messages just for that individual.

Results bless sender and recipient

Now, when I started, I didn’t expect any responses from all these letters, but I did get some. My junior high math teacher wrote a nice letter, beginning with how his wife found the letter lost in the yard because the postman dropped it. Then a lady I babysat for called me to visit. Before Covid struck, we planned to visit for lunch, but of course, the plans derailed. We reconnected, however, which blessed us both, I think. Months later I met another recipient in a park. We passed each other with greetings, but she paused and came back to thank me for the note.

Reaching out to tell people that I cared about them posed some risks. After all, they might not share the sentiments. Still, how can it hurt to hear someone cares about you, right?

People need calls, letters, cards, or notes so people know others care for them. The replies I received brightened my day. Even a simple thank you acknowledged my effort to reach out. I appreciated that. It made the risks worth it.

I encourage you to reach out to someone today or tomorrow to let them know you think of them. Lent approaches. Will you consider your own letter writing campaign? If so, who will you write to first?

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Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash.

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