Years ago I wrote about *pen-pal clubs as a hopeful feature of older adult lifestyles. Today I want to encourage you again to consider letter-writing as a powerful antidote to diminished social contact—a satisfying ministry that you can undertake right now!
As you might guess, I like corresponding with others–mostly via e-mail, but sometimes printed or handwritten notes. (That kind of communication can’t be hacked!) My style has remained personal and conversational in tone—sometimes outside the bounds of grammatic conventions. Honesty, directness and brevity help assure that my letters get read. Friendly humor helps, too.
Letter-writing is a ministry you could enjoy, too—making a difference in someone’s life. Your letters would remind recipients that they are remembered and valued. Not alone. Not lost. Your letters might encourage your grandchildren to face their uncertain futures. Folks from your past would be delighted to hear from you. People who don’t get thanked very much could be warmed by your gratitude.
Letter-writing could also benefit you. It’s a vocation that begins new relationships and strengthens those that might have gone dormant. Letter-writing can take your mind and spirit past narrowed experiences—returned correspondence could become a valuable way for you to learn new or surprising things. Letter-writing would remind you of your values, or give you renewed purpose. The letters might become part of your legacy.
Think about the possibilities: Who would enjoy hearing from you? What would you like to share with others, or learn from them? What sounds enjoyable about this? What would it take for you to start this kind of ministry? A letter from you could make someone’s day, brightening their outlook towards hopefulness.
My invitation: Find pen-and-paper or a computer keyboard, and surprise someone with a short note. Maybe even right now…?
To learn more about this hopeful practice, visit https://fullofyears.org/a-return-to-letter-writing/
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