The world is a complicated place and so much of it can be ugly. That’s why what is gentle and beautiful and joyful is worth fighting to preserve (as Oliver says in The Impossible Dream).
Sometimes a small part of that fight involves focusing on slivers of light (as Norman does in A Hope and a Future). Sometimes it involves reminding others of who they are (as Shane reminded Oliver that cynical is not who he is in Truth Be Told). Sometimes it involves watching a TV show. Sometimes it involves reminding myself, or writing letters, or both at the same time.
I wrote the letter below to remind myself of who I am and what I believe in. I hope this letter may inspire others, either directly or by inspiring to write your own message to yourself.
I believe words are important, that it is important to speak important words to important people, that words can give life and hope (as they do in SSD).
You are important to me and I want to give you words to hold on to when things are hard. An anchor to go back to when the storm is raging. I want to remind you of what you know deep inside.
I believe, you believe, that God created the earth.
I believe, you believe, that there is beauty, life, and hope.
We know there is darkness, but I believe, you believe, that in the end the light will win.
I believe, you believe, that God can speak.
I believe, you believe, that He spoke at least once to you when you wrote these words, out of nowhere; words that are engraved in your heart:
I believe that if it is quiet now, that does not mean He let me go; maybe He is giving me a chance to show my faithfulness.
I believe people can touch each other.
I believe this typically happens on a small scale, in a small group.
I believe I have had a chance to touch specific people that I know by name.
I believe I have a core, deep inside, and that what comes out of it is true and worthwhile.
I believe I have original thoughts and ideas that are worthwhile. Perhaps not for everyone, but at least for someone.
I believe in forgiveness.
I know it is not possible to always satisfy everyone.
I know I have a tendency to retreat when I feel I’m bothering others, but I also know that it will not be possible for a plant to grow out of that precious seed in me if I do not take care of it, if I do not take care of myself.
I know the captivity caused by living in fear is worse than looking my fears in the eye.
I know I cannot influence everything, but I can influence how I respond to whatever comes on my path.
I know I want to set a good example for my children, and I do not want to teach them to behave as if they are not important.
I know I make mistakes, but I want to forgive myself and go on.
I know that my fears or worries will not make the future better, but it will make the present worse.
I know it is possible to learn, to change and I know that the current challenges do not have to stay this big.
I know there are whistling birds, sailboats, wind, horses, Iceland, water, rainbows, sadness in the midst of joy and joy in the midst of sadness, stories, connection, eye-openers, love, the chance to learn new things, the chance to consciously choose the best interest for someone else and not for yourself, growth, reflections of heaven on earth, plants (that grow, bloom and slowly change), sunrises, sunsets, mist on the water, ice-cream, deer, rabbits, bison, elephants and so much more.
There are stories in songs, in books, in movies, in people.
There is life in plants, trees, animals (big and small), human bodies and human souls.
There is faith, hope and love.
Open your eyes and receive. Feel the sun on your face. Give or receive a hug. Go for a walk. Reach out to Him. Do not expect it from others, do not look for that one thing or that one act that can fill you. Let your sadness be sad, your anger be angry, your joy be joyful. Experience the rich experiences God wants to give you and let them draw you to Him. Sometimes close, sometimes far. In the loneliness. Hear his voice. Come home.
The Living Letters series continues as long as there are stories (or even praise reports) to share, and I'm always looking for submissions. If you would like to contribute something about how Signed, Sealed, Delivered has impacted your life (or even your wardrobe) that you'd be willing to share here on A&D, feel free to email me. Keep the good going and submit yours today.