Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Note From Joe Revisited

In December of 2005, something wonderful happened to me. I checked my email one morning and discovered a note from a man named Joe. I blogged about this incident the day it happened in 2005, but there’s a reason why I’m blogging about it again, so bear with me.

In those days, I was a special contributor at a major newspaper and receiving notes and emails from readers was one of the highlights of my day. Whether folks agreed with me or not didn't matter, but I especially enjoyed hearing from true kindred spirits.

Joe’s email, however, was much more. The subject line read: “a note of gratitude,” and it was, perhaps, the greatest gift I’ve ever received, as a writer. Here, just as he typed it, is what Joe wrote on December 21, 2005:

Ms Shockley, you wrote a small article in the dallas morning news " FAITH COMFORTING IN TROUBLING TIMES " a short time after 9-11. i was so impressed with it i cut it out & placed it in my billfold. two years ago my wife kicked me out because of my drinking. later that night agonizing over the lost of my family i came across your article in my billfold. after reading it, a renewed hope began to build up in me. i knew God was going to see me thru. today, my marriage has been restored and i belong to a christian based 12 steps call "CELEBRATE RECOVERY" . i shall forever be grateful for your article because i felt the Presence of God. joe

In an earlier recollection of this event (in another blogging community), I ended my post by saying how humbling it was to think of this dear man carrying my feeble words around in his wallet for four years, and for finding the courage to make needed changes in his life because of something I’d written. And the fact that he took the time, years later, to write to me and express his thanks was, well, there were simply no words to express how that made me feel. Simply no words.

And I’ve rehashed all of that now to say this. After reading that particular post in 2005, one of my dear friends commented and suggested that maybe I should print out Joe’s note and carry it in my wallet to read whenever I needed a shot of encouragement.

I thought that was a great idea. However, being of old age and forgetful mind, I totally forgot about Joe’s note … until I uncovered it yesterday, there in the folds of my wallet … just when I needed to hear that at least one thing I’d ever done in my life had made a positive difference in the life of another person.

Was this a coincidence? I don’t think so. God knows where we are, what we need, and when we need it the most. Yesterday, God saw a downcast child of His, declaring her life had been one big flop, lamenting to her husband about her myriad failures and assorted flaws. And even though her long-suffering husband tried to assure her that she was wrong, that her life had been nowhere near one big flop, that her imperfections only prove she is human, she was hearing none of it.

So God, in His infinite love and wisdom, saved the rediscovery of Joe’s note for such a time as this, proving once again that not only is He a loving Father who loves His children unconditionally, bestowing upon them blessings they don't deserve, but that He's still a very present help in time of need.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

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For more inspiration, head over to Charlotte and Ginger's wonderful blog. I find strength in this community of bloggers every week. I'm sure you will too.

19 comments:

  1. His timing is perfect as your story testifies!

    Thanks for sharing. And yes, He is being glorified through your life.

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  2. God uses us every day to share His love, encouragement and bring words of healing. Sometimes, He uses us in ways we never imagined. To God be the glory. Amen.

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  3. Wow, Dayle. What a wonderful testimony. I'm so glad you shared it with us.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  4. He knows....and He's never late. Sarah

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  5. That was a great story, Dayle. The Lord sure knows how to touch our broken hearts, doesn't He? Thank you so much for sharing today's lovely post. Sincerely, Susan from writingstraightfromtheheart.blogspot.com p.s. By the way, I wrote a story on our Honey Cat for the new Cat's Life in the Chicken Soup series. Hope they use it! Susan

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  6. This was such a wonderful story. I can't tell you how many times I feel the Lord has stepped in right when I needed it most and blessed me with just the right thing at the right time. This is an awesome testimony to the love our Lord has for us. Thanks for sharing it. Blessings, Debbie

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  7. WOW! I don't know anything else to say. Words seem so inadequate to express how I feel. Thank you so much. You are a great writer.

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  8. It always helpful to be reminded again and again and again, all in God's timing.
    I'm awed by the power of God

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  9. His timing is always right on time.

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  10. This is beauiful! Thank-you Dayle for sharing your heart.
    God Bless,
    Gingr

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  11. oh, Dayle, I really loved reading this! It is also so timely. I am not in Celebrate Recovery, but our church did just start it last year, and some of the ministries of CR were spotlighted today, in cardboard testimonies, because of Sanctity of Life Sunday.
    Thank you again, and thank you for visiting my blog.

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  12. Dayle,
    I just love your writing...thanks for this inspiring story. God knows what we need when we need it!

    Blessings,
    Jean

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  13. Dayle - what a lovely story. We never know who we may touch through our words, actions, or deeds.

    How wonderful that Joe's note was able to help you when you most needed it. I've found that everytime I'm feeling down or discouraged, God always comes through. It may be through a phone call, an email, or a comment left on my blog.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  14. Thanks for sharing that neat story. It is amazing how God ministers to us. Blessings ~

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  15. I have a feeling that you are a blessing to more people than you know.:)

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  16. Up-lifting story and I agree with Lisa... you touch more hearts than you realize! Hope you are enjoying your time away!

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  17. This is a wonderful story. It makes us really think about things.

    Willow

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle