That Time I Mailed A Letter To God
Oh, you read that right. I for sure did that. It doesn’t really matter when it was or what I had written; the point is that I did it. I wrote a letter to God, put it in an envelope, and dropped it in the mailbox. Now I do remember, after letting it slip out of my hand into the mail slot, I thought, “What did I just do?” But, whatever. It was done. I wasn’t getting it back. Besides, I never put any form of identification on it. I wasn’t that naïve. Who knows what or who would have shown up to my house if I had done that. So, at worst, some post office worker opened it, had a good laugh, maybe passed it around, and then went on with their life. C’est la vie. But it wasn’t just “some letter” to me. It was a proclamation; it was my proclamation.
Now, before I get emails asking if I have taken a dive off the theological deep end. No, I have not done that. And yes, I know that talking to God doesn’t mean you take hand written letters to your local post office. I’ve read my Bible, heard the sermons, and even got a few of those Christian degrees. I get it.
Me writing an actual letter to God wasn’t because I was concerned God wasn’t listening to me, and maybe this would get His attention. (But wait. Does that work? Just kidding). Instead, it had everything to do with my obedience, my trust, and my faith in a God who can do the impossible and who, sometimes asks me to believe boldly for things that seem far-fetched.
And to answer your next question: No, I did not hear God tell me to take a letter to the post office.
So, why did I do it?
When you’re wired like me, as someone who wants to achieve, excel, perform, and control outcomes, it’s temping for me to put my relationship with God in those same categories. I want to look good, and I want my faith in God to look good too. I can all too easily try to perform my way to the outcomes I want. But God doesn’t work like that. Faith doesn’t work like that. Instead, faith can feel messy and unpredictable. It can be uncomfortable and stretching. I operate in time and space, but God is not bound by my time limitations. So all of my external equations, all of my skills and talents and abilities, well, they weren’t working.
What I did hear God telling me was to stop putting Him in a box. To stop striving so hard, and instead, just ask. Start asking more boldly for what I want. And by faith, to believe that He is shifting and moving things on my behalf. That letter, although mildly embarrassing, was my tangible expression of boldly asking for some pretty specific things, of thanking God that He is already orchestrating people and events on my behalf, and it was a way for me to declare that I’m going to step out in faith and do something that feels uncomfortable. My letter was a reminder to me that it really has nothing to do with my abilities to perform and achieve, it was about saying that I can’t but God can.
And He can in a way that doesn’t make sense to me, but I know He can. And maybe He was just waiting for me to ask.
And while all those things were important to me then, they are still important to me today. I still need God to move some mountains in my life right now. If He can part the Red Sea, split the Jordan and tear down the walls of Jericho, He can surely do it my life. Again and again and again. And I’m going to see it.
Whatever happened to that letter? To be honest, I have no idea. But this one thing I do know: when I let go of that envelope, things changed.