This post is by Shara Jackson Harper, a woman who listens and acts.
Every year I try to pick a few specific things to put on my New Years resolution list that would enrich my life and help me bless the lives of others as well. One of the things I have tried to do regularly is to prepare and send real mail.
Not emails, facebook messages, texts, voice mails or instagram comments...but real, sealed, stamped, sent in the mailbox MAIL. I have a stash of cards, try to keep stamps on hand, and if I'm on top of things--I'll have it all together on Monday mornings to send some out that day.
I know how I feel when you receive a surprise note in the mail--who wouldn't want that? I love the feeling I have when I am writing kind words--I know it is the Spirit testifying of the power in these kinds of "small and simple things".
I have a prayer in my heart to know who needs a little lift in their week. Sometimes I send thank you cards that are due to those who have given graciously to me or my family, other times I'm writing hello notes to someone I haven't seen in awhile. And then there are the times I send a note of love to a family member or a thank you note to someone who gave an inspiring talk on Sunday.
Last Monday, I was writing out a few cards and my mother-in-law's name came to mind. She has had a lot going on lately with her father growing old, being sick, and needing extra care. I had the distinct impression that I should send her a note to tell her that I love her, I am praying for her, and that Heavenly Father loves her. The snail mail usually averages four days to get from our mailbox to hers. I smiled as I thought of the fun surprise she would get--hopeful it would give her a little ray of light on her busy day.
Skip to later that week--my husband reported to me that he had received a call that his maternal grandmother had gone to the hospital and was on life support. We immediately offered prayers to ask Heavenly Father to send His comfort and peace to his family who were there supporting his grandmother---and specifically, my mother-in-law.
After a few more hurried phone calls with updates, I remembered the note I sent in the mail--it would arrive that very day! My eyes filled with grateful tears as I explained to my husband that though I did not know what would be happening today (and sent the card four days before)--it is wonderfully clear that Heavenly Father did. He knew that my mother-in-law would be have a heavy, overwhelmed heart and that she would need a gift of encouragement and love.
I said another prayer--this time instead of pleading for healing and comfort, it was of thanks. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who is mindful of each of us and our needs, heartbreaks, and moments of despair. His work is masterfully putting His children in place to help each other along our sometimes difficult journeys.
As we are willing to truly listen & follow those quiet nudging of the Spirit...then snail mail can be much more than just a card in an envelope. It becomes one of those "small and simple things" that can make a big and wonderful difference.
See also: Alma 37: 6 - 7