I Throw Like a Girl

Snail Mail

Posted by Carol on March 11, 2009

For as long as I can remember, I have had an unusual eagerness to get the mail each day. As a little girl, I would look forward to the birthday cards that came from my grandparents in the mailbox at the end of my driveway. And during the summers that I was away at Girl Scout camp for weeks at a time, mail call was one of my favorite parts of the day.

Back in the dark ages when I met my husband, there was no such thing as email or texting, so love letters were written by hand on college ruled notebook paper and sprayed with a spritz of cologne before delivering.  When he left for college two years ahead of me, my daily trips to the mailbox at the end of my driveway were filled with anticipation that rarely disappointed.

This obsession with mail has carried over into my adult life. Even though most days our mailbox brings us mundane items such as bills and catalogs, once in a while my trip down the driveway is rewarded with a prize as was the case last Saturday.

You see, one of our relatives is in prison. It’s a long story as you can imagine. If he is guilty of what he is accused of, it was a crime of ignorance. He was not aware he was breaking any laws in his business practices, yet the court found that ignorance of the law is no excuse and gave him a very harsh sentence. Though his crime was non-violent, because of his sentence he is housed with murderers, rapists, and the most violent of criminals. He is too far away from where I live for me to visit, so I write to him as often as I can.  On Saturday, I received a letter in return.

This man was a Christian before he entered prison. As you can imagine, this has been a trial of faith of epic proportions. When I receive letters from him, they are filled with a peace and, dare I say, joy, that can only come from the Holy Spirit. His example of faithfulness in the midst of horrendous circumstance is amazing (if I may borrow a word from the Bachelor).  I want to share a portion of his latest letter with you in hopes that it will bless and encourage you as much as it did me.

This stunning and hard to believe prison thing I realize comes from God’s wonderful love for His children. If it was my attention He wanted, you know, He got it!

Because of this time here, many changes have come into my living and thinking that would have been impossible in any other environment. Also, the area of comfort – creature comforts. Huge changes that taught me how spoiled I had become. Interpersonal relationships, even “must have” relationships that could not have occurred in the outside world, have taught me to be carefully concerned about “all” people, to be ready to love them at a moment’s notice.  God’s love works in any and all environments. Oh, there are some real struggles to be sure, but people do respond to love that comes from a pure heart.

The spiritual part is where God has focused His aim. It must be that I had further to go and less time to get there than most people. To be sure – I have not arrived, but what an incredible trip it is. The trip continues, of course, forever. This first “Pilgrim’s Progress” part often is not taken seriously enough, spiritually speaking. Somehow we get off the track and think this life is what it is all about- this short 50 – 90 year lifespan, and we forget about eternity….

…Christian growth takes time. Fruit ripens slowly, days of sunshine and days of storm each add their share. Blessing will succeed blessing, and storm follow storm before the fruit is full grown or comes to maturity.

The true method for spiritual growth involves pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life. Short cuts are not useful, we understand the value of and submit to the necessity of the time element.

There is so much more wisdom in the letter I could share, but that’s enough to digest for one day. God’s grace is enough in all circumstances. This letter is proof.

Be blessed,


3 Responses to “Snail Mail”

  1. This was very moving. Can I copy it just to keep for myself?

  2. Beverlydru said

    Thank you for sharing those powerful words forged in the fire. I heard an amazing speaker last year who had served 6 years in prison for a tax violation that she made unwittingly as a business owner. I remember she said “you don’t have to be behind bars to be in prison…”. So true. She lost everything…her fiance, her house, business, etc but came to Christ through it. Wow.

  3. Diane said

    This is exactly why I volunteer to have weekly bible studies in prison….God is THERE.
    Also, when I first began going there I quickly figured out that those prisoners, those inmates ARE US. That was a paradigm shift.

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