August 11, 2011

What's In the Mailbox?

Growing up on a mid-western farm, I remember the excitement of watching for the mailman and then racing my brother to the end of the lane to retrieve the contents from that over-sized box. On the rare occasions when the carrier sneaked by our sentry stations, the distinctive slap of the metal lid slamming shut told us there was something there… and off we ran to find out what it might be.

More than once I pried open the mailbox door to experience the droopy let-down as an empty, gray metal interior stared back. Not fun! I was glad that didn't happen very often, though I'm sure my parents felt just the opposite on those days. Mail of any kind  held an air of mystery that demanded to be solved.

Today, while waiting for a letter from one of my Compassion sponsored children, that same sense of anticipation floods over me at mail time. When a letter arrives, I won't know which child wrote to me until I open the envelope.  I savor each sentence, trying hard to make the letter last because it may be a while before another one comes.  I read it again… and again.  I digest and analyze everything about these tangible connections with my distant friends in an attempt to coax out every possible detail about the person who wrote it.

What does their penmanship tell me?  What colors do they choose for the pictures they draw?  What subjects do they draw?  Why?   Do they ask questions, or simply state information? Do their words convey concerns...  happiness and hope… spiritual growth?

All of these clues are like 1000's of pieces in one of those mega puzzles.  It takes a lot of time, patience and perseverance to put the whole picture together, but the end result is so satisfying and worth it.

This is my second year as a Compassion sponsor, and the growing exchange of letters sure helps to fill in the blanks about our sponsored children.  I'm thankful that, even though distance may somewhat hinder my ability to ever fully realize who they are, I can rest in the knowledge that God knows them intimately.

He knows exactly where they are and the circumstances they face.  He sees their potential.  He knows their hearts, their hurts, their desires, and He cares more deeply about each of them than any human ever could.

My role is to be faithful in my sponsorship… to pray for each child, and to write words of encouragement that communicate how special they are to God's heart.  Getting a letter in return is just an added bonus, really.

But I must say… one of the really fun things about being a Compassion sponsor is rediscovering the excitement of wondering … what's in the mailbox?


  1. Ah, I do love the anticipation that can be found in that 1/4 mile walk to our mailbox. You've described it so well!

  2. About a year ago I started writing to a little Compassion boy in Colombia. He had a financial sponsor, but his sponsor never wrote to him, and that's when I was invited to correspond with him. He's a dear. What a privilege it is to play a small role in his life. I pray for him each morning when I pray for my grandchildren.


  3. @Michelle -- I sure miss having a country lane to walk down these days, but mail time is still exciting.

    @Linda -- I do that, too. To help me remember everyone by name, I made a picture postcard collage for all the grandkids and another with all the Compassion kids on it. Handy for morning prayer time.

  4. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Mail can be really gives a sense of excitement when something you've waited for is finally there, especially a handwritten letter.

    Great post :)

  5. Hi, Jade, I'm glad you stopped by.

    Waiting on a specific letter can feel like a mini Christmas Eve. ;)



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