For as long as I can remember, my passion has been ... sending cards and letters containing handwritten words of encouragement and good news. For all of you who know me, I am sure this is not the first time you have heard me say this.
There is nothing like going to the mailbox and seeing an envelope with a handwritten address just waiting to be opened. When we send a note through the postal system, we are telling someone that they are worthy of our time and efforts.
It has become a tradition that I begin writing my annual Christmas cards over Thanksgiving, but this year I made an exception for two reasons. First, a few weeks ago a friend of mine sent out an email saying that she would be sending a package to a Chaplain in Afghanistan later this month. He ministers to 200 soldiers there and her hope was to send 200 Christmas cards, one for each American soldier under his care. She was asking for volunteers to help write cards.
God tugged at my heartstrings ... I couldn’t say “yes” quickly enough.
The second reason happened this weekend as I was watching one of my favorite Hallmark movies, The Christmas Card. The script used a churches tradition of sending greeting cards to our military as a catalyst for a holiday-themed romantic story. The film told the story about a soldier, Captain Cody Cullen, stationed in Afghanistan who received a Christmas card addressed to “any soldier.” The card contained a hand-written message from Faith Spelman, a woman living in the small town of Nevada City, California. While serving his country, the Captain found encouragement and the strength to survive, in the words written by Faith.
Inspiration abounds ... what a perfect setting to work on the cards that I had committed to write.
FYI: During the 2006 holiday season (when the movie, The Christmas Card was first released) Hallmark Channel partnered with various organizations such as Operation Dear Abby, Cards for Troops national campaign and America Supports You, to help support the men and women of the Armed Services.
Another person who has been busy “making a difference” is Beth Pennington, mother of a Marine, and founder of the group Military Missions Inc. According to their website, Beth tells us “What started as a simple prayer has turned into a non-profit organization that is blessing hundreds of deployed military each month. God took me, a ‘home school mom’ with no intentions of changing her path in life, and placed me in a position where I have the privilege and blessing of touching the lives of many with His love. Through sending care packages and cards of encouragement to our military, I have the opportunity to share the love of Christ in each box and card that makes its way overseas.” She went on to say, “I can’t enlist in the military and deploy overseas to a war zone, but I serve and honor those that are standing in the gap for me.”
The Bible is God’s love letter to a wounded and hurting world. It is a constant reminder of the power of God’s love – a message we need to pass along. “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:14). A letter is something someone can touch and keep ... they can become treasured mementos. According to Dayspring (a subsidiary of Hallmark), “When we care enough to send a card that carries God’s word, we can confidently pray that God will use it to accomplish His will.”
We never know how the words we write, will uplift or inspire another person, or how lives may be changed. My hope is that my words have inspired you to join in the efforts to send messages of peace, love, and joy to our military. What better time to be reminded of God’s amazing love than during the Christmas season!
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver
For more info on cards for the military, send me an email or check out this website: http://www.military-missions.org/events/opsend-christmas/