Archive for April, 2019

by Allen Cumbia

You have heard the saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” In a literal sense a sword can inflict great harm and even death, but in a figurative sense the product of a pen, the written word, has much greater power both for good and for evil.

calloutWords can be used to harm, to disparage, slander and express hate. The pen can be more destructive mentally and emotionally than any sword could ever inflict physical harm. But a pen can also be an instrument of uplifting, encouragement, good cheer, reinforcement and love. A pen can, through written words, inspire, motivate and challenge an individual to become someone greater than they might ever imagine.

The Power of a PenI was reminded of the great power of the pen during and after a stay in the hospital. Last November I underwent open-heart surgery to repair a defect in my mitral valve. I was in the hospital eight days, followed by an extended recovery period at home. It was during this time that my mailbox transformed from a junk mail, bills and sales flyer collector to a source of daily anticipation as I waited to see who I might hear from that day. You see, there was an outpouring of cards and letters wishing me well, offering prayers for swift healing and a quick return good health. I felt power in the thoughts and sentiments of friends and acquaintances as they offered words of hope and encouragement. I found joy in opening a card, reading a light-hearted greeting or heartfelt words of love and concern. They encouraged me to feel better and focus on healing, and that is what happened! I was thankful for the time and energy put into each greeting and well wish, and so grateful for the friends who cared enough to reach out and brighten my day.

Allen CumbiaCards and letters are really a ministry unto themselves. They’re not expensive, don’t take a long time to write or send, and they impact the recipient in powerful ways. In this age of digital communication, it is easy to be in touch, encourage and bless ones going through difficult times by sending an email, text or Facebook message. This is a great way to quickly span the distance between the sender and the recipient. But there is something special about receiving a card or letter delivered through the mail. Physically holding and touching that card, seeing funny, or more serious artwork and the message, and knowing that the last person to touch that card before you was the friend who sent it to you—that is about as close as you can get to having their physical presence there with you.

Anyone may easily minister to and bless others through the written word with a pen. I am so grateful to all that have recently touched me in this way, and would encourage you to do the same. You will probably never realize the true impact of this simple act of love and caring.

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