When my mother was dying, I went to visit her in California. We both knew at that point that it was the last time we would ever see each other alive. As such, it was extremely hard for us to communicate what we wanted/needed to say to each other without breaking down and crying. My parent’s pastor at the time suggested that we write letters to each other; so that’s what we did.
After my mother died, my dad returned the letter I had written to my mother to me. I also had the letter she had written to me. That letter has been one of my most precious possessions. It is just one page, front and back. The handwriting is hard to read because my mom was so weak when she wrote it. It doesn’t even look much like her handwriting. There are also big water spots that blur the writing scattered over the page. I’m not sure now which of these tear marks are hers and which are mine.
I always kept the letter in a little wooden box along with my letter to my mother and other really special precious things that probably have no value to anyone else in the world but me. So imagine my surprise and dismay when I looked in the box and the letter wasn’t there. I looked everywhere. I tore my whole bedroom up. I looked through every Bible cover I owned just in case I put it in there. I was devastated and finally just had a big, fat cry. Joey and Bud were home at the time and both were upset by my reaction.
For the past six to eight months, I have just tried to forget about the letter. I had prayed and prayed for God to show me where it was. But He didn’t. It was gone. Some evil person had come into my bedroom and stolen it for some unknown reason. I would never get to read it again. Every time I thought about the letter I would get upset. It was almost like losing my mother all over again. So…I would just try to forget about it.
Two weekends ago I decided to clean out my bedroom closet. My poor closet is pretty tiny and crammed full to the hilt. I have to change out clothes between my bedroom closet and the closet in the living room by season. My closet doesn’t just house clothes but also purses, shoes, luggage, journals, and bible studies. I had neglected to clean out my closet the last year, so it was about to burst at the seams.
I dedicated a whole Saturday to cleaning the closet. I didn’t even get dressed in the morning so I couldn’t trick myself into doing something else. I had to be done and today was the day. The first thing I decided to do was organize the two shelves on either side over the clothes. The journals and bible studies had started out on one of the lower shelves, but I decided to move them up to the top shelf since I didn’t need to grab them easily as I was dressing each day.
After the top shelf had been cleaned up of all the junk residing there, I started moving bible study books and journals. Of course, as usual, I picked up way more than I could realistically move. And dropped a whole stack. So I had to climb down off of the chair I was using for a ladder and bend down and start picking up books. As I picked up one of the bible study books, two letters fell out. And guess what they were? One was THE LETTER. The second one was the letter Ruth, my biological mother, had written me about the day I was born.
I was ecstatic. I stopped then and there and told God thank you! I also probably did a much better job cleaning out my closet because I realized what was really important and it wasn’t all that junk in my closet.
It’s funny when you finally realize what is important. A line in the song Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, says “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the one I love.” That is so me! Probably so you, too. I am so easily distracted by the things of this world. And this just brought me right back to God. Right back to His goodness and mercy. Right back to His holiness and justice. Right back to what is important. Our love for each other. A dying mother’s love for her daughter and that daughter’s love for her mother. God’s love for us and our love for God.
And all I can think is God is so good….all of the time!