Sunday, June 5, 2022

Book-Worthy Letters

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

And I wrote to you as I did…for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all. 
2 Corinthians 2:3

The cardboard box was soft around the edges, fibers broken down by attic heat and time. I opened the floppy flaps to find a treasure of written letters, blooming with the handwriting of my youth. Across the ocean they had flown, from Japan to the United States. From Kenya. From England. From Colombia, Tanzania, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Scotland. These tucked-away letters told the story of faith and obedience, fear and hope. My life story recorded in bleeding ink.

A well-written letter not only tells a story, it shapes stories. The letters I received in return for mine gave me strength to go on during hard seasons. They brought news of loved ones, words of caution, help to find my way forward. 

Letters are living things.

Paul knew the power of a well-written letter. He used letters to bring grace and peace, encouragement and comfort to his readers. He sometimes penned them out of much affliction and anguish of heart and many tears (see 2 Corinthians 2:4), and other times deep joy. He used letters to teach people about Jesus, about relationships, about service. Paul's letters could be weighty and fiery. Letters were Paul’s instruments of change.

His most well-known letters became thirteen books of the New Testament, and we pore over them today, memorize their powerful words, recite them to the weary, and use them to remind the faint to persevere. The ink dried two millennia ago, yet the power of Paul’s letters lives on.

We don’t often think of letters as a pathway to writing books. But I wonder if we applied the principles of letter writing to our book writing what we would produce. Letters are addressed to very specific readers. Letters have a distinct purpose. Letters are often sincere, heartfelt, and even vulnerable. Personal. Self-disclosing and entreating. A well-written letter evokes a response. 

What would happen if we, like Paul, took up our pens and wrote because we felt sure of our readers, sure that our joy would be their joy? Confident that the truth we write could change their stories. 

When my young son was battling for his life in a burn intensive care unit, I wrote letters every day in journal form. Over 40,000 people have read those now. People who cared for him and for us, readers whose lives were changed alongside ours in the painful, victorious journey of faith and hope. Last Christmas we printed them and bound them in a book. Our story within those book-worthy letters reminds us of God’s story in our lives.

Could our letters become instruments of change in the world, inspiring long after the ink has dried?

Let’s go write a letter today.

Lord, thank you for the power of a good letter. Use me to write letters that change the world. Amen.


Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.
Audrey is the author of Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World (Harvest House Publishers), an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available at favorite booksellers: BARNES & NOBLE , BOOKS A MILLION, AMAZON.


  1. Fabulous post, Audrey! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Crystal for reading and encouraging.

  2. A message of inspiration and hope. Thank you, Audrey.

    1. Keep writing those letters, Katherine!

  3. Thank you for this powerful post, Audrey! Sadly, letter-writing has become a lost art. Thank you for turning our hearts toward its restoration.

    On another note, I could not help wondering if you are related to Anne Frank, another letter-writer who helped changed the world.

    1. I hope you find time to write a letter today, MaryAnn. And regarding Anne Frank, no, I am not related to her, although I am deeply moved by her legacy. Blessings to you today!