I love Lent.
I grew up in the Catholic Church and the idea of giving up chocolate or sweets while I was growing up, made me feel like I was doing something important for GOD. That I could sacrifice a little something of myself for Him.
Of course, as I grew older, and my faith grew more mature, my 'sacrifice' became slightly different. I learned that good behaviour and good acts do not solidify your position in heaven, and perhaps I should change my outlook on what I would do for those 40 days.
This year, it is the 40-Day Card Challenge.
Which means, that every day, during my quiet time, I try my best to allow GOD to choose whom I should pray for. Then during my Bible reading, I would write out the best verse I thought to encourage that person. I would then type it out in lovely font, tape it to a lovely card, and then write some kind words, cover the envelope in pretty stickers and then send it in the mail. These people would be friends, acquaintances, and even a few people whom I knew didn't like me (I just didn't put my name or return address on it).
I used to send cards all the time. I love sending cards. I would get such a thrill walking up and down the stationary stores and choose out the pretties cards, the coolest colours of envelopes, the sweetest stickers. I had a carousel of coloured felt-tip pens. I loved to do it, and I used to do it all the time.
Until I stopped.
Wasn't anything serious, it just slowly and gradually stopped.
Maybe it was because I stopped hearing a 'Thank you', or a, 'You really made my day'.
I wasn't doing it for the acknowledgement, to be sure, but at some point...you lose...the joy in doing it. Even my closer friends, whom I know needed a card of encouragement, they wouldn't say a thing. And made me feel badly about our relationship.
Isn't that awful?
I am in full agreement that relationships are not what they used to be. It is extremely difficult to get friends to talk to you on the phone. I sometimes miss being sixteen, with my long curly phone cord winding its way around my room as I would gab for hours, my parents yelling at me to stop tying up the line. I can't remember the last time I had a long conversation with someone on the phone. I kind of miss it, you know?
This tells me, that in our fast-moving, technologically-advanced age, that we need more cards in the mail. I love getting cards, who doesn't? Especially encouraging ones that say, 'Hey. I'm praying for you right now, and you didn't even ask me to.'
That is a wonderful 'sacrifice' that I am willing to make. And maybe after 40 days, the habit will stick, and I will keep doing it. Because even though most of my relationships are through Facebook now, I can do my part by sending GOD's love through the mail. And that, to me, is a wonderful challenge.
And lets me buy more pretty greeting cards.
Jenn Kelly is a farmer who is getting back into writing. Slowly. If you would like a card in the mail, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will do her best to make sure you get an envelope with rooster stickers.