My mailbox has had a rough run. It’s been bashed into twice. One time a driver knocked it all the way down, leaving it sprawled in a most undignified fashion, junk mail scattered in the driveway. It has a thankless job, usually delivering mail that’s immediately tossed in the recycling bin, or mail that elicits a sigh from the recipient — another boring bill that needs attention.
I’m sure it was thrilled to get a different response this week, anything to break up the monotony of disdain and neglect.
My friend on the other side of town mailed me a book. It just so happens that this book is one I’ve been planning to dig for, since I didn’t find it on the shelf or in the easiest box to locate. She had it, and she took the time to mail it back to me.
But that’s not all.
In addition to the book, she included a short note that told me I wasn’t forgotten, that she remembers that I’m still grieving the loss of my dad, and in that remembering she told me that he mattered, and that I matter. She even sent a gift card to a coffee shop, which just speaks of the additional thought she put into returning the book, which became so much more than returning a book. It became a care package.
But that’s not all.
When I was thinking about finding the book, I was thinking about the author and what he wrote about different kinds of prayer and spiritual disciplines.
I was not thinking about who had read the book.
I read the book, and underlined it and jotted little notes about interesting parts.
My former youth pastor had read the book, and it was originally a gift from him. He wrote a page-long letter inside, affirming me and blessing me.
And my dad read the book.
My dad read the book and jotted things alongside my own. He underlined passages that stood out to him, along with notes that revealed his thoughts to what the author wrote.
It surprised me completely, the receiving of the book, and then discovering kind letter from an important part of my high school years, and then the handwritten words from my dad inside. It was such a gift to me.
Seeing my dad’s notes was like finding a letter my dad had written to me, and getting a little surprise visit from him when I’m so sad he’s gone and I can’t talk to him about everything that’s going on. I’ve been savoring the book, trying not to look through it too much until I have time to dwell in it, soak up the visit in the pages.
This post is for you, R. You had no idea how your act of kindness would encourage me. Maybe you didn’t even know my dad had written in the book — it’s probably been on a shelf for a while. As is common when things are prompted by the Holy Spirit, your timing was spot on. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to act on what started as an idea, to go through all the steps necessary to get that book (and your note and the gift card) to me. God used you to take care of me. I’m so grateful for your friendship, not just today but always.
This post was in the works already, but when I saw this week’s prompt over at Kate Motaung’s blog and Five Minute Friday linkup I knew it dovetailed perfectly. I may have gone over the five minutes a bit, but this is pretty unedited so that’s in keeping with the spirit of Five Minute Friday.
Thanks again for reading and being a part of the virtual family here. Have a wonderful weekend, and if there’s a note you’ve been thinking of sending to someone, I encourage you to do it. You never know how a little note can be used to show God’s love to someone.