Because I am a Lady of Letters it’s no great surprise when I find lots of luscious letters in my mailbox each and every day, but I am surprised by the ones that arrive in unexpected places at unexpected times from unexpected sources.
One example of receiving surprising letters such as this occurred when I was attending a retreat some years ago. I was not particularly enthusiastic about attending this retreat, but I was talked into it. There are all kinds of retreats out there and the more time I spent at this one the more I realized it was not the kind for me.
Though many people love Christian pop music I’m not one of them. In fact, I dislike much of it, so hearing it played all through the retreat was not my cup of tea. Music is a very personal thing and the same kind of music doesn’t suit everyone. That’s why sometimes silence is the best background for spiritual prayer and meditation. The music that was supposed to inspire me did nothing of the sort.
Group activities at this retreat weren’t any better. The skits and games that were meant to draw us out and help us share seemed silly and childish to me, not at all thoughtful and reverent. I suppose I was just more serious than many of the other participants.
Prior to this retreat I had been working hard at learning my spiritual lessons, and as a result of that work I was already in a nice spiritual place. I didn’t feel I needed a retreat to be inspired any further at that time and in actuality this retreat was not inspiring me one bit, but only making me feel dreary. This was because most of the participants were very troubled and their discussions were down right depressing. Though I felt sorry for these people I didn’t know how I could help them and being witness to their pain only brought me down until…
it was announced that letters had arrived for us. Letters? Yes! I perked right up. Letters are my friends and it seemed they had come to rescue me from this retreat. The people running things realized it would be nice for us to receive letters in which friends and relatives shared their faith through personal stories. And in this matter they were right!
I had been blessed with a wonderful family and many great friends who were filled with faith. Being part of this circle was largely responsible for the spiritual joy I had discovered long before this retreat. Receiving these faith-filled letters of love from friends and family was wonderful.
If it hadn’t been for these beautiful letters turning up when they did, surprising me with joy, well, this retreat would’ve been a total disaster for me. The letters saved the day. They were an unexpected, very welcome, spiritual surprise.
On another occasion I was surprised by a letter from A Special Friend who usually didn’t write to me. Maybe He writes to you and if He does I’d love to hear about His letters. Let me explain.
My family and I were vacationing in Bermuda. It was a Sunday. Nowadays a lot of people don’t bother to go to church anytime, but especially not when they’re on holiday. I was having a wonderful, carefree vacation myself, so much so that I was forgetting about a lot of my usual routines, routines like daily prayer. But though I was forgetting about my regular prayers I did feel we should all go to Mass on Sunday because good Catholics take Sunday Mass quite seriously.
We found a cute little church and settled in to pray. The Mass progressed as usual and after the gospel was read the priest said he had a letter to read to us. I figured it was one of those letters from the bishop asking for contributions to one cause or another, but no!
This letter came from My Special Friend. Looking back, it now seems only right that since I’m a Lady of Letters This Friend should contact me in this way, by writing me a letter. You see, My friend was disappointed in me, disappointed that in all the fun of my vacation I was forgetting all about Him. Don’t a lot of us forget all about Him when we’re having a great time or when we’re busy? We often only reach out to Him in times of need, but He wants our love all the time.
Well, His letter really hit the spot that day and made a big impression on me. Maybe He sent this letter to me knowing I would be one who would share it with you too. Why would I want to share it? You know. Sharing doubles the joy! So here’s what he wrote:
How are you? I just had to send a note to tell you how much I love you and care about you. I saw you yesterday as you were talking with your family. I waited all day hoping you would want to talk to me also. evening drew near I gave you a sunset to close your day and a cool breeze to rest you and I waited. You never came.
O, yes, it hurt me, but I still love you because I am your friend. I watched you fall asleep last night and I longed to touch your brow as I spilled moonlight on your pillow and face. Again, I waited, wanting to rush down so we could talk. I have many gifts for you!
You awakened late and rushed off. My tears were in the rain. Oh! If you would only listen to me. I love you.
I try to tell you in the blue sky and quiet green grass.
I whisper it in the leaves on the trees
and breathe it in the color of the flowers.
I shout it to you in the mountain streams
and give the birds love songs to sing.
I clothe you with warm sunshine and perfume the air with nature scents.
My love for you is deeper than the ocean, and bigger than the biggest want or need in your heart.
Oh! if you only knew how much I want to help you. I want you to meet my father. He wants to help you, too. My father is that way you know. Just call me – ask me – talk with me! Oh, please, don’t forget me. I have so much to share with you. Okay, I won’t hassle you any further, you are free to choose me. It is your decision, but I have chosen you, and because of this, I will wait – because I love you.
(signed) Your Friend
So there you have it. Some of my letters are truly surprisingly spiritual. If you are a letter writer and a spiritual person you probably have your own spiritual letter stories to tell. I hope so, and I hope you share your stories with others because this is the stuff that dreams are made of and not just dreams. This is the stuff that makes living on earth a heavenly experience.