Dear Friend: The power of a letter By Gabrielle Redcay


If a smile can brighten someone’s day and a kind word can warm someone’s heart, a letter from a friend must work miracles. However old-fashioned, any correspondence written from the heart and delivered in an envelope shows the receiver that the writer cares, loves, thinks and roots for him/her.


That is why I write letters. Not to settle business or to feel eccentric, rather I assemble and deliver quick notes to try to make life a little better for the people in my life.


As a college senior, my letter writing schedule typically coincides with semester schedules. The conclusion of the fall or spring semesters motivates me to jot a short but thoughtful message to peers with which I became better acquainted over those four months. Fall, winter, spring and summer breaks allow time for communication with more long-distance friends.


While the length of letters coincide with the depth of my relationship with the subject of the letter, each product consumes a substantial amount of time. Time consumption begins with the front design of the letter. Whether a holiday greeting, encouraging statement, or the subject’s name, research begins on Pinterest or DaFont, a source of typography inspiration.


The innards of the letter also require thought, and thus time. I typically begin the writing process by typing out my thoughts, before documenting my thoughts permanent in pen on my carefully crafted card. The content contains compliments, or strengths I have noticed and admired in the subject of my letter. I usually try not only to express my personal feelings, but to remind the receiver how much God loves them.


My desire to encourage others through letters has been strengthened and motivated by how positively letters have affected me in the past. God has used simple but thoughtful cards from friends to completely change my day, my attitude, and my overall perspective on life. Some of those letters came from physical people in my life, others have come from the Bible, such as Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, Ephesians, and Romans.


When a card touches me, I always intend to express my gratitude. Receiving a letter myself is second only to hearing about how a letter I wrote blessed someone I know and love.


As my college career nears its end, my current letter writing tendencies are likely to change within the next couple of months. But my hope and desire is that I never stop writing letters and that I never miss an opportunity to brighten another person’s day, attitude, or life.