Most often I would try to ignore the sender's address to maintain the surprise as long as possible. And there they were...Christmas cards! I particularly love photo cards, the faces of our precious friends and family on display in brilliant colors. Children with grins painted ear-to-ear, a bride and her groom with all the wonder and joy of newly married bliss, and more. Each picture tells a story. Each image captures my heart. I love these cards because I love these people.
Each card finds a special place in a fine china bowl, its creamy white and brown with gold gilded edges provides the perfect home for these delights. I find myself stopping there often, sometimes more than once a day, to thumb through the images and reflect on these sweet ones we love dearly.
As December passes, and Christmas decor is once again packed away, I can't bear to discard these treasures. They sat in the beloved bowl for weeks before I finally came up with an idea. In years past, we've used our cards as prompts to pray for the people pictured. This year, I decided to take that one step further.
I emailed each family who sent us a card and told them we would be praying for them throughout the year. I asked them to reply with some specific requests that we could take before the throne of grace on their behalf. As the replies came in, I wrote the requests on the back of each card. We will select one card each week or so and pray for that family as the Lord brings them to mind throughout the week, especially during mealtimes.
Prayer has a supernatural way of not only tying our hearts to the will and heart of God, but also to the hearts of other people. When I see these precious faces at church or on Facebook or even in the grocery store, I am reminded of their prayer concerns. They are more than that cute family who made a friendly gesture by dropping a Christmas card in our mailbox. Behind the paper smiles are real needs...a son whose mother may lose her job, a wife who longs for her husband to return to church, a parent seeking wisdom in raising her son.
I guess mailing cards at Christmas can be ordinary or predictable. But that's where most of us live...in the ordinary, predictable, routine, day-to-day of life. What ordinary event or gesture or tradition could the Holy Spirit use in your life to prompt you to engage in the supernatural? What mundane task or everyday object could remind you to stop and put the needs of others ahead of your own?
"There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him."
- William Law
- William Law