One of the  mainstays of my personal ministry is writing notes to those who need care. As author Debbie Macomber writes in her book, One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity, “Nothing replaces the note of encouragement, of comfort, or of condolence. Letters can be our lifeline to faraway friends and family, but don’t overlook them for those suffering nearby. Although a visit offers time to listen, to laugh and cry together, a letter is tangible. It can be read when no one is around, or reread when fears threaten.”

So true! In a time when we are all so busy, taking the time to write a note is a rare and wonderful gift to the recipient. (And it feels good for YOU too!)

But what if you don’t know what to write? Here are a few suggestions:

  • “I’m sorry, I care.”
  • “I can’t even imagine how much you or how lonely you must feel or how devastated you must be!”
  • “I’m thinking of you.”
  • “I know you are hurting, and I really care about that.”
  • “I think of you every day and ask God to help you.”

Depending on the situation, here is a unique way to get your whole family involved  – create a group note in which each person writes a few sentences. Maybe each person could complete a sentence starter, “I’ll never forget the time . . .” or “One of the things I especially valued about ________________ was . . .”

Here are some other situations that are excellent opportunities for writing notes to others:

  1. Send a thank you note to someone to unleash the power of “thanks!” Hand-written is especially meaningful, but a text or an e-card is nice too.
  2. Condolence cards can be difficult to write so here’s my “3 R’s” formula to help you along.
  3. When you want to offer a “pick me up” to a longtime friend, write them an “I Remember Note” that details fond memories the two of you have shared.

See? It’s not as complicated as you might have thought. Just put pen to paper (or fingers to your keyboard) and send out a heartfelt message. Show someone you care.

For more ideas, see our list of Writing Notes articles.

Updated 2022

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.