She wrote with her right foot.

Her name was Virginia. She and her elderly mother lived for a while with my grandparents in Taunton, Massachusetts, where my grandmother provided in-house care. Virginia was disabled by polio as a child, which left her without the use of her arms and hands. Her mother used to care for her until the workload became too great. So, they moved from Shreveport, Louisiana to Massachusetts, and that’s where I got to meet them.

Virginia wrote with a fountain pen. I was a nosy kid and asked a lot of questions. She even let me watch as she used her left foot to place the fountain pen between the first and second toe of her right foot. I would watch with amazement as she wrote letters to family and friends back in Shreveport.

After she finished writing a letter, she would address an envelope, steadying it with her left foot, and then set it aside to dry. After that, she would fold the letter and place it inside the envelope.

She took a short candle and rubbed it back and forth, back and forth across the surface of the envelope. 

And there I went again.

“Why are you doing that?”

“As the letters go from here to there and it’s raining, the wax from the candle that I just rubbed over the address shields the ink and keeps it from smearing. That way the address is protected until it reaches its destination.” 

I write with fountain pens and have for years. Not all fountain pen ink is waterproof, although you can buy it. The other day I wrote to my parents with ink that wasn’t waterproof. After I addressed the envelope and let the ink dry, I went into my middle desk drawer and got my candle stub and rubbed it back and forth, back and forth over the surface of the envelope. As I did, I got a flashback of Virginia doing the same with her feet.

“The wax from the candle shields the ink from the rain.”

It was then I heard the subtle whisper of the Lord saying, “I am your shield.”

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” Psalm 28:7 (NASB)

Allow the presence of the Lord to overshadow you, back and forth, back and forth. Then let it rain if it will. You are shielded.