When I arrived at the Abbey Of Gethsemani, I was greeted by Jennifer. She was at the front desk assigning retreatants rooms in the Guest House. So I asked her if I might have room 309, but Jennifer told me it had already been taken. I confess I was disappointed. I spent both of my Sabbaticals in room 309 and it has come to be a sacred space for me. I was assigned room 310. It was the room my niece, Rebecca, stayed in when she joined me on retreat in May of last year. It is a lovely room that overlooks the garden.
I have another confession to make. I hate change. I like familiarity. I don’t like new and surprise. But God had a different plan for this retreat. God is always doing a something new among us if only we have the heart to see it.
I should also share that a little over a month ago I listened to a Ted Talk on line. It was by Hannah Brencher and the title of the talk was “Love Letters to Strangers.” I hope you will look it up and listen. It is a fastening story. The gist is this: Hannah was feeling depressed and so she decided to start writng letters to strangers and leaving them in all sorts of random places in New York City. She thought writing letters would make her feel better. It did. But what also happened was a wonderful surprise. Others followed her example and they also began writing letters and leaving them in all sorts of places throughout the city.
So guess what I found in my desk draw in room 310? Dozens and dozens of love notes addressed to the occupant of room 310. I think I count 42 in all so I have decided to read 6 or 7 a day. They are simply wonderful. Some include art work. One was even written on a piece of musical manuscript. (My favorite so far.) I am so glad I am in room 310. Thank you Lord for the gift of love from strangers who have taken the time to share their love with a fellow spiritual traveler.
I Count It All Joy,