Writing Letters to God
With cases of the coronavirus surging and many states enforcing more restrictions, it makes sense that many people are feeling helpless. One person said to me this week, “All of things I do to connect with joy are just not helping these days. I feel so defeated.” Now four months into the pandemic, perhaps you’re struggling to connect with joy too. It can take all you have just to make it through another day. The struggle is real and we need help.
The Psalmist looks up to the mountains and asks, “where does my help come from?” I wonder, what am I looking to for help? What are you looking to for help? Or are you even looking for help? At times we can be so inward focus, that we fail to realize our need for help. Asking for help takes practice. It’s not something many of us naturally want to do. We’d rather take matters into our own hands. Which more often than not, can stir up more anxiety.
But there also are times when we realize we just don’t have the strength to help ourselves at all. We need something outside us. Yet, in a global pandemic, it can feel like our usual sources for help are not available. Are access to family, friends, community clubs, and faith communities are limited. So, what do we do?
In Malala Yousafzai’s memoir, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, she shares about her life growing up in Pakistan and how she and her father fought for education for girls. In one chapter, she tells of some children who lived in a nearby garbage heap. Malala feels so much compassion for these kids, that she asks her father to let them come to their school for free, but he says it is impossible. She then discusses it with her friends, but they tell her that it’s not her problem, that she should let the government deal with it, but she knows that the government would not step up to the task. So, if her father couldn’t help and the government wasn’t going to help, then there was only one option. She said,
“I wrote a letter to God. “Dear God, I know you see everything, but there are so many things that maybe sometimes, things get missed, particularly now with the bombing in Afghanistan. But I don’t think you would be happy if you saw the children on my road living on a rubbish dump. God, give me strength and courage and make me perfect because I want to make this world perfect. Malala.” (Pg 89)
When all else failed, when no person or organization could fix her problems, Malala turned to the supernatural.
Perhaps, you are like Malala, maybe you feel like no one can fix the problems you see in the world and your life: the coronavirus, racial violence and strife, your mental health, or a broken relationship in your life. I wonder if you too need to write a letter to God. Perhaps, now is a time when you can look to God for help.
For the Psalmist continues,
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
Take out that pen and paper and write the letter to God. A prayer of sort, but also a protest. Be honest and hold nothing back. Write about your frustrations, joys, heartache, and disappointments. Allow the burdens you carry to be shared with your God.
Peace be upon you,
Chaplain Travis Jamieson
P.S. Looking for some inspiration to get started? Try using our starter letter template at the link below!
 Psalm 121:1