I’ve been thinking about talking to you for a long time about this. I thought about calling you on the phone. I thought about visiting you. But I finally decided to write you a letter. This way, you can take this slow and thoughtful like. Also, you will have this piece of paper for a long time. Even if it doesn’t make a difference now, maybe after a while you will remember what things were like before. I can’t imagine you will throw this letter away.
You used to be one of my heroes. I really looked up to you and respected you. No, you weren’t perfect. I realize that. But in the midst of your struggles, you prevailed. Or should I say, you allowed the LORD to prevail for you. I knew you were struggling. I could see it on your face at certain times. I could see when you bit your tongue. I knew a part of you wanted to be proud. But yet you submitted yourself to the LORD all throughout your trials.
Your trials were not easy, in fact, you had it rather rough. But you always seemed to be full of faith in the LORD. You knew that He was going to take care of you no matter what. There was always tomorrow. There was always hope. You were like a breath of fresh air in the midst of your garbage dump surroundings. Others beside me looked to you for inspiration. You never stooped to the level of someone else who was slinging mud at you. Somehow, in way that I don’t understand, you rose above it all. The only explanation I could ever come up with was that you trusted in the LORD.
I found inspiration in the way that you handled your trials. I know it wasn’t easy for you. There were times when I sympathized with you so greatly that I wished I could take your place. Or sometimes I wished that I could knock the block off of the one who oppressed you. But I knew it was from the LORD. I could no sooner take your place than you could take my place in my trials. My trials are ordered by the LORD and so were yours.
Sometimes when my trials seemed like they were too much for me, I would remember you. I thought to myself, “If she can handle her trials in such a way, surely I can handle my trials.” As long as you were faithful, it was like the sun was shining even though the circumstances seemed like a thunderstorm. If you could continuously put your trust in the LORD in your seemingly hopeless situation, then, well, so could I. You had a grace and a beauty that could only be explained by your confession of Christ as your Savior.
Maybe I should have told you this before. Perhaps it’s my fault for not telling you how your testimony admonished me on a daily basis to allow the cross to cut me deep. So I guess I should say, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you that you were my hero. Maybe you never would have quit.
I understand completely. I have wanted to quit many times. It seems like things will never change. Why should you persevere when everyone else around you doesn’t seem to care at all? Why should everyone else get to be petty and insulting and you must always bite your tongue? Why overcome today when this same trial will come again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day? I can’t say that I blame you because I understand your trial all too well. Not everybody understood, but I sure did.
Will this letter change anything? I don’t know. I’m not writing this letter to condemn you, because I’m no better. I’m not writing this letter to chew you out, because I’ve failed in worse ways than you could ever know. I’m not even asking you to go back and change what you did. There were some people that you hurt with your decision when you walked away. That’s between you and them. I guess I just wanted to let you know that – you used to be one of my heroes. Maybe I’ll see you around some time. Until then, I hope that I can inspire others through my trials the way you inspired me. I miss you.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman