Maybe you've heard about the bag of letters discovered under a pier in New Jersey. All were addressed to God, meant for the altar, blessings and prayers of a church led by a minister who could have hand-delivered them two years ago when he passed on. Perhaps he was able to in his own way. The person who happened upon these personal exchanges between God and God's people made an attempt at selling them on Ebay, then thought better of his decision, and instead gave them to the minister's daughter. What she will do with them remains unknown.
Attached to the series of online articles about this cache of letters was a poll asking readers if they have ever written a letter to God. Seventy-six percent said no, twenty-four percent said yes. I had to look at the results twice to be sure of what I was seeing. Almost everybody in the United States claims some sort of faith in a higher power, but even God who knows us before we are born, surrounds us all our days and allows nothing to separate us from the love that created us doesn't even get a thank you note now and again from three-quarters of the population. Moms and God have a lot in common in the under-appreciated department., don't you think?
If you did take a few moments to jot down a few lines to God, what would you say? How are things going? Where do you pan to spend the holidays? What is new at work? That may be part of the problem. Encouragement to write anything is nonexistent in our culture, something I have lamented here before. Thinking about what we believe and identifying that in our actions is limited at best. So, these two entities joining forces is where that seventy-six percent failure to communicate rate comes into play.
Perhaps another part of our problem is that we presuppose that letters are about finding information out, instead of sharing with someone else our world view, our thoughts and ideas, or our love. It is polite to consider the recipient, their feelings and perspective, but writing a letter is mostly about us, sometimes revealing more about ourselves than we want to see or we want others to see. In that respect, writing a letter to God is like playing a game of don't ask/don't tell with someone who knows us so thoroughly there is no place to hide in which we cannot be known. That level of emotional intimacy is also not something we know much about. Maybe it's time we learned. Maybe writing a letter to God is a good place to start.
God may enjoy being asked how the day went or about plans for the holidays. God seems to have a pretty heavy work load too, so checking in to see how that is coming along may be appreciated. God may also like to hear about our day, what we plan for the holidays and about our work. Was your day joyful, strenuous, sad, lonely? Are you anticipating the holidays or dreading them? What do you like about your work? Are you happy? How is it with your soul today?
Writing a letter to God is praying in print, extending a verbal contract of love and grace to be etched on your heart, soul and spirit. What you write is between you and God, and the postal rates are a pretty good deal too.
This article was posted on November 27, 2006
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