Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Expressing Love in a Handwritten Letter

This pandemic is putting our mental health to the test. Needless to say, as social individuals, we miss the warm affection reflected in a hug and face to face interaction.

Just to understand the effects of isolation, consider some data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: In June, nearly 31 percent of U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, while almost 11 percent said that they had seriously considered suicide. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms alone was about triple that of the same period in 2019.

Of course, as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, you understand the importance of offering comfort and hope (Acts 13:47). And because you have a pioneer spirit, you are probably doing everything you can. But, have you thought about the importance of a handwritten message?

Amie Friedlander, in an article for The Washington Post, accurately expressed: “People consider letters meaningful because so much effort goes into sending them. It takes time to find the right stationery, think about what to write, buy postage stamps, look up the person’s address, and find a postbox.” Consider the following YouTube videos where reporters praised Jehovah’s Witnesses after being the recipient of such a handwritten letter:

You’ve probably seen other such reports. Even if such flattering reports are unnecessary, it reflects the positive impact of a handwritten letter.

Recently, on the jw.org website, you have probably read encouraging experiences from our young creative evangelizers who expressed their faith through beautiful drawings and handwritten letters. Consider the case of the foreign language volunteers Jonathan and Sean McKampson (ages 12 and 15): They schedule their time before school to write by hand letters addressed to Chinese speakers. This takes much time and effort. (Source: https://www.jw.org/en/news/jw/region/global/Young-Witnesses-Become-Resourceful-Evangelizers-During-Pandemic/ )

Are you reluctant to write a letter because you don’t know how to start, or you fear people’s reactions? Don’t forget to pray for help. After that, you may find these suggestions relevant to have a meaningful share in writing letters for the preaching work:

  1. Make a list: include your phone contacts, elderly people in your neighborhood or a nearby nursing home, and physicians in the closest medical center. It requires more investigation to know their names, but the results are worth the effort.
  2. Don’t worry about finding the perfect thing to say: Be sincere and as personal as possible, instead of focusing on writing the perfect message. Write in the way you would express yourself if the person was right in front of you.
  3. Picture the recipient before you begin writing: Ask yourself: What do I like about them? Why am I you grateful to have them in my life? Have I ever learned anything meaningful from them? Write your answers on a sheet to make the first draft.
  4. Focus on the future: If possible, share your hopes for something you wish to do or experience with the other person once the pandemic has ended. There´s nothing better than sharing your preferred scriptures about the end of suffering and the resurrection close at hand.
  5. Select a memorable piece of stationery: Most of us have the custom of keeping our most significant cards and letters. Make your handwritten letter a treasure for your recipient. And don’t forget that at Ministry Ideaz you can find that beautiful stationery to reinforce your message.

Please leave us a comment: Which design of stationery do you like the best? The colorful jungle artwork? Or the more subdued paradise pictures done in sepia. We are looking forward to hearing about your experiences using them!

Have a happy hand-writing preaching work!

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