Sometimes my daughter asks loaded questions…

“What are you doing tonight…?”  

There’s a swollen pause at the end of her question, and dancing eyes tell me she Has Ideas and they’re probably better than anything I have in mind.



“Let’s write our Compassion children.”




Though not her intention, the suggestion mounds heaps of guilt on my shoulders.   As much as I believe in Compassion International…as often as I pray for my girls…and in spite of traveling to Calcutta to meet one of my Compassion babies, I was a horrible corresponder last year.

During every home visit we made in India, children would unbury treasure, stacks of papers and pictures from their sponsors.  Proudly, they’d announce their sponsor’s name and country, from their respective countenances, a proclamation of royalty.  Their sponsors have changed their lives.

Without another word, I pull out my stack of treasures from my children, words and masterpieces crayoned on flimsy paper.  I look at their faces, pictures pinned to my refrigerator with Mary Engelbreit and Clemson Tiger paw magnets, and settle down to write.  In 14 minutes I’ve finished both.

Fourteen minutes.

Rachel has ignited something in me though, and I keep writing.  A sympathy card to a friend who lost her father days ago; a relative celebrating a birthday; and nine more thank you letters, lingering from Christmas, added to my original two notes for Compassion.

It’s after mid-night.

Thirteen letters, 13 handwritten cards and letters, and I affix postage and return labels and shuffle the stack of mis-matched envelopes.

This feels good.

I feel accomplished (and sleepy).

I’m sad to have to wait




to mail them because of no mail on Sundays and holidays.

But I’m happy for my daughter’s gentle kick in the behind, and for not listening to the clammor of the urgent and inconsequential over the whisper of the important.

My mailbox will be full on Tuesday morning, until 13 snailmails inch their way across the country and beyond.

I’m sure they’ll arrive right on time.


* * * * * * * *

Your turn:  Who would love to receive a good old-fashionsed letter from you?   An aunt?  The child(ren) your family sponsors through Compassion International??  Your long, lost best friend?  I dare ya–close your laptop, pick up a pen and paper, and write for 14 minutes.  Someone at the other end of your mailbox will be very happy :).



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