My purple pen dances across the white, college-ruled page. The smell of the PaperMate ink fills my nostrils as I bend down as close to the paper as I can, somehow feeling as if I can be a part of the purple words I’m scrawling.

I pause after my simple introduction paragraph, not completely certain where to take the conversation. This letter is important. There can be no careless words. Not one. Every single mark is important, right down to the sparkles I draw around the word ‘God.’

This is a new thing for me, writing meaningful snail mail. It’s an art form that I learned when I was a student, but forgot over time when my fingers found a home on a keyboard. Perhaps I thought that with the invention of e-mail, I could forget my letter-writing lessons. It’s a shame, because now this letter means more than a thousand e-mails ever could.

This is a letter to one of my former students. The former student my heart broke for the most, and still breaks for; one of the few that caused me to burn through the emotional spectrum with God. This “child” had brought me to tears many times, and caused me to feel incredible joy, and also incredible horror.

I had the great pleasure of leading him to Christ, and then sorrow of watching him turn from Christ, feeling that God wasn’t enough to take away his pain. I was the one praying and holding back broken tears when the cutting returned, and when the deep depression came back, heavier than ever.

I was the first person he called after he tried to take his life the first time. And I was the one who called him when I heard he had another plan to kill himself. I cried on the phone with him and begged him not to do it. That night we cried together.

This letter is to him.

How can I get the words right? How can I convey what is in my heart for him? How can I plead for his healing in a way that breaks through?

I continue writing, tears forming in my eyes. Bravery is not something I’m known for, but, as I look at this mountain of this student’s brokenness, my faith in the King I serve out-matches the past truth: when he didn’t listen in the past, what makes these words any different?

I lay my pride down. I don’t care anymore.

He doesn’t have to listen to me. All that he needs is to see God in truth.

And God can take care of that any moment He wishes to.

So, I write.

Maybe one of these carefully and lovingly written words will be what God uses.

Maybe not. But, I don’t care.

I love this young man. I don’t want him to perish, either physically or spiritually.

So, I’ll be brave. And leave the rest to the Creator of All That Is.

Jesus is trustworthy.

Dear Faraway Friend,
There is a God who loves you.

 

-Keviana Elliot

dear faraway friend

by Keviana Elliot time to read: 3 min
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