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?