My Life/Teen Life

I Wrote Post-It Notes to Strangers and Here’s What Happened

Mother Teresa once said, “Do small things with great love.” In this case, small things consisted of green post it notes and a sharpie pen. That, combined with the greatness of God’s love resulted in my post-it note project.

Every day for a month my friend and I wrote post-it notes and put them on stranger’s doors. It was our little practical way of spreading the Gospel.

At my college, each dorm has the name tags of the people living in them on each door. We would look at their name, say a prayer for them, and ask God, “What do you want them to know, Lord?”

We addressed each person by name, and the words that were written were written uniquely for them. I wanted for this person who I did not know to know that they are known by the King of Kings.

My hope was that the unexpected note and anonymity would leave a lingering curiosity. I had desired that this curiosity would then lead them to ponder more deeply on the words written. And ultimately, I prayed that the love of God would fill their hearts.

When I started this project I thought of the impact it would have on those people. But I was surprised to find the impact it would have on me.

It taught me how to love better

I believe the short intimate moments of trying to find the words to say to each person is what changed me. It allowed me to imagine what tough battle this brother or sister of mine is dealing with. And it brought me to try to possibly comprehend our Father’s immense love for this person.

This changed my entire outlook. It taught me how to love that stranger who I passed by. It reminded me how to love my roommate, the boy sitting alone, that sinner, my family, the homeless man, the person I am jealous of, and each and every person that God brought into my life. The project broke my hardened heart to see them as more fully as they truly are- complex and precious children of God.

I was less tempted to sin

By frequently reminding myself that every person is loved deeply by God, I didn’t want to sin against others. A clear example of this was one night I didn’t feel like doing the project. I had just found out a friend had been gossiping behind my back. Feeling betrayed, all I wanted to do was to wallow in my hurt and “vent” (gossip) about this person. (Yes, it’s hypocritical but that’s how the devil works.) But I mustered up the energy to go and write notes anyways. In the process of writing notes, I had a change of heart.

It reminded me why my heart continues to beat at all. It is to love God and to love others. While writing notes I forgot about the situation. I lost the desire to gossip. I needed to love that friend. This change of heart describes the verse from Peter:

“Above all, love one another deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Love covered my hurt, my anger, and my temptation to sin. And I think that’s the entire point. When we love deeply, we are able to allow God to come in and engulf and destroy the darkness in the world. We allow love to be louder than the voices of evil. We choose to side with God.

The word “love” has become diluted and has become a cliche. But don’t be mistaken and underestimate the magnitude of little acts of love. All we need to do is to crack open the door and God’s love will come flooding through. And when we do, the immeasurable and indescribable begins to happen.

You don’t need to do a lot. You don’t need to travel far places. It can be as simple as writing post-it notes. It can be right at school, your church, your neighborhood, a parking lot or your home. Just do small things with great love.

About the Author

Teresa Nguyen

I'm a twenty-something gal who's a big advocate for picnics, long walks, and dancing (even if you suck at it). I want to spend my whole life delighting in the Lord's love and being in awe of the sacredness of the human person.

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