Monday, April 28, 2014

Tell About It Tuesday -- A Surprise In My Mailbox!

When my girls were younger, I always enjoyed watching Blues Clues with them.  I loved how the show encouraged the kids not to just watch passively, but to actually get involved.  And my favorite part was how excited Steve would get about mail time every day ...

I could totally relate to Steve.  As far back as I can remember, I've always gotten excited about the mail.  Of course, back when ALL correspondence came through the mail, it was a little more exciting.  These days, most of my communication with people is online, and my mailbox is generally just full of junk mail and bills.  But still, there's always that feeling of anticipation when I open my mailbox ... there just might be something fun and exciting in there!  Even though there usually isn't (lol), it's something I look forward to every day.

Last Wednesday, I opened up my mailbox with my usual tingle of anticipation, and for once, I was not disappointed!  In amongst the junk mail from politicians and a couple of bills, there was an envelope addressed to While We're Waiting.  The address was handwritten, and a quick glance at the upper left corner revealed that it had traveled to my mailbox all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio.  I ripped it open and pulled out a two-page, typewritten letter.

I could tell from the salutation that this was not going to be a read-it-in-the-driveway kind of letter ... this was going to be a sit-down-and-savor-it kind of letter.  So I carried it into the house and sat down at my kitchen table. 

Here's what it said ...

"Dear Followers of Christ,

Enclosed you will find a check in the amount of $450.00 that we would like to pass on to your awesome ministry.

Last month my wife and I, along with another couple, rented a home down in Florida for a week.  We rented the home because both of our daughters play fast-pitch softball on the same collegiate team here in Cincinnati, and they had games scheduled for a week in that general area.  By sharing the home together, of course, we could split the cost to save money.  My wife and I were excited about the trip as it also gave us a chance to be with each other, plus watch our daughter compete.  As the trip grew nearer, a co-worker of mine loaned me a book called "Fearless."  He told me that he thought I would enjoy it so I was ready to start it once we got down to Florida.

The evening of the third day while in Florida, my wife Holly received an email from the owners of the home.  We were shocked at the contents, as it started out by saying, "This is no joke, this is not a prank, and we are not trying to scam you in any way."  It went on to say that they wanted to show an act of kindness by refunding all of the money back to our credit card and hoped we enjoyed their home the rest of the week free of charge!  I looked at my wife in disbelief, as did the other couple.  Holly then went right to our credit card automatically thinking we were being scammed and to her amazement all the money had been put back on our credit card.  As two couples, we sat down shaking our heads about what had just happened to us.  Right away though I said there is no way Holly and I can just take that money back because it's not our nature.  The other couple agreed so we sent back an email explaining that we would like to donate the money to their favorite charity or organization.  They quickly responded back that they did not have one, and for us to just enjoy the remainder of the week.  The other couple decided then what they would do with their returned money as Holly and I pondered our thoughts.

About three or four days after we returned home to Cincinnati I completed my book, "Fearless."  I walked out into our family room and told my wife about a guy named Adam Brown.  I cannot put into words how that book talked to me as a man, son, husband, father, friend, and follower of Christ.  I told my wife that God gave me time and patience to finish the book so He could speak to me.  When I was shown God's wonderful love at work inside "While We're Waiting," I knew this is where He wanted the money to end up at.

One last thing, I wanted to give you the name and address of the person who is responsible for this donation, as you see it never really was ours in the first place.  God has blessed Holly and I with 30 years of marriage and three wonderful children.  He also placed me in a job that has given me so many personal rewards over the years.  God is good!"

This gentleman went on to give me the name and address of the person who owned the house they were renting.  

I was blown away.  What a cool story!  I was so humbled and grateful that these folks had chosen to pass their blessing on to While We're Waiting.  I immediately called our partners in this ministry, Larry & Janice Brown, about whose son the book "Fearless" was written, and shared the letter with them.  They were as excited and grateful as I was.   Then I sat down and wrote both the writer of the letter and the owner of the house lengthy thank you letters.  

I love surprises in my mailbox!    

Sing it with me ... "Here's the mail, it never fails, it makes me wanna wag my tail, when it comes I wanna wail, "MMMMAAAAIIIILLLL!"  ~Steve from Blues Clues

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