Bunny may have been speaking about the contents of the parcel in Home Again, but when watching recently, it reminded me of something else entirely.
The best recipes begin with a vision. If it’s a special recipe the chef knows the exact amount of spices and ingredients to add together, to be mixed and blended into something so good and delicious after just one taste the patron is left with wanting more. Nothing is or will ever be comparable to it. What really makes this recipe stand out, are the secret ingredients. Only they aren’t so much of a secret as they are there, out in the open for all to see, for all to grasp and claim as their own. These ingredients are given to us freely, no strings attached, no repayment needed. The secret ingredients, which aren’t so secret are Faith, Hope, and Love. Each brings its own personal touch to Signed, Sealed, Delivered. Yet when combined, garners a flavor unlike any a person has never tasted.
Webster’s defines Hope as: "to cherish a desire with anticipation; to want something to happen or be true; to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment."
Signed, Sealed, Delivered delivers Hope in all its forms. It’s a TV show built largely on hope around a group of four postal detectives who rely on the hope they would one day find what each are individually searching for: a family, a place to belong, acceptance, joy, faith, forgiveness, healing, and love. Because the special recipe is unique we find ourselves cheering each character on from the sidelines as if they were our own family, walking with each person through their trials and pain, their joys and triumphs.
Hope lives in Oliver’s faith and need for peace and the ability to forgive. It lives in Norman’s childlike faith in his search for a forever family to love and cherish him, where he learns to be bold, grow and thrive as a man. Hope lives in Rita’s innocent and effervescent ability to love on and forgive others, and in Shane’s continuing tender search for healing, hope for perfect love, and the capacity to forgive.
I will admit, I go in spurts watching the postal detectives in action, because I must be in a certain frame of mind to turn on my DVR. Some days I’ll watch three or four hours, then I’ll go weeks without setting my eyes on a single episode---sometimes it’s too painful to see others happy in their hope, even if they’re simply characters in a TV show.
Envisioning and believing in hope are two separate entities. What we envision, or hope, for our future when we were children, or even adults, doesn’t always bear the fruit of such dreams. Sometimes those dreams take a right turn, and then another, heading in the complete opposite direction. A direction full of pain, and misery, where shame becomes front and center, lifted high on a pedestal, where it will take only divine intervention to knock it from its wrongful place. A place where God shows us grace and we have to have confidence or hope, in that grace.
Now I need to learn how to recognize, receive and accept grace and hope when it’s staring me in the face. And that’s the problem most days, I forget about God. Last fall I was told to wait on Him---but I forgot. I forgot to wait because those negative thoughts and fears came around again, and I forgot the hope promised to me at the Cross. My hope was forgotten, and I let fear permeate my thoughts again, and I began behaving as I had been for years, pushing people away by holding on too tight yet expecting and waiting for a different outcome. Instead of accepting grace, love and friendship freely, I waited anxiously for the next person to abandon me, reject me as everyone else has since the day I was born. Not unlike Oliver, or even Norman, in their search for acceptance, peace, and love.
Whether or not Signed Sealed. Delivered continues past July 2018, it has given us, the viewers, the POstables, more than a television show. It exemplifies a special recipe. Signed, Sealed, Delivered has given us hope to move forward with our lives, hope in the security of having found a new type of family to love and cherish, to disagree with and laugh with. Bonds forever forged over Faith, Hope, and Love.
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!