I have recently fallen in love with StumbleUpon. If you haven’t used StumbleUpon, you should. But probably not when you have anything important or pressing going on (like running errands, getting to an appointment on time or remaining gainfully employed), as it is one of those amazing tools that can easily take you on a three hour journey down the rabbit hole. I know, because I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week doing just that. A few nights ago, I was stumbling along, and the story below popped up as a suggested read...
Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:
Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her. Love, Meredith.
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, “To Meredith” in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, “When a Pet Dies.” Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Dear Meredith, Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays In your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love. Love, God
According to her mother, Meredith was comforted by the book and letter and was unastounded that God saw fit to write back. “She wasn’t surprised because she had such faith that her letter was going to get to God.” (The oldest of the Scrivener children, 6-year-old Andy, was impressed, though: He “thought it was pretty special his sister got a book from the angel,” says his mum.)
While Mrs. Scrivener considered asking at the post office about the package, she decided against it. “I kind of like not knowing,” she said. “I don’t know who took the time to do it, but it was an angel. We all think about doing these things, but no one takes the time to do it.”
Before you write off the story of Abbey and Meredith as another well-intentioned load of internet hooha, you should know that itÂ has actually been confirmed as true by Snopes. AsÂ remarkable as the story is, what struck me as even more remarkable is that somewhere, someone working in the dead letter office took the time to perform a random act of kindness that changed a little girl's life. They didn't just do their job that day, they found a purpose.
Speaker Betty Bender once said, "When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home."
Most of us spend at least 40 hours a week at work. We may not all have an opportunity to write a letter on behalf of God, but we can all make a difference somehow. As we embark on a fresh week, I challenge each of us to bring our hearts along for the ride. Let's make every day Bring Your Heart to Work Day.
Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness? Do tell.