By Emma Claridge
Everything seemed perfect. The sun poured out its golden rays, filling the street with the warmth of summer. A gentle wind floated past each house, and the leaves in the trees softly danced in the breeze. Yet in the midst of this perfection, a storm was raging. There, in the middle of the sidewalk, knelt a weary soldier, her heart a battlefield.
I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care that my knees were scratched by the rough sidewalk. I didn’t care that my skirt was getting dirty. I didn’t care that I was crying, and I didn’t even care that the whole neighborhood was likely gawking at me behind their windows. I was working as a literature evangelist that summer, but although I carried copies of Peace Above the Storm in my bag, there was no peace in my heart. Satan had been pressing my failures against me for weeks, and today my oppression had come to its climax. I had messed up so much, I began to think God may not be able to save me.
It was this fear that brought me to my knees. I slung my bag of books off my shoulders and fell prostrate before my God. After trying to be strong on my own for so long and miserably failing, I finally cried out to Him. God, please show me You are still here. Do you really care?
A few minutes later, noticing someone walking towards me, I hastily got up and tried to wipe away the tears. I didn’t feel any better. Nevertheless, I knew I must continue my work. Wearily I picked up my books and forced a smile, but now tears were slipping out between every door. God, I can’t go on like this all day.
I ordered myself to approach one more house. A hollow knock rung in my ears as my tired arm met with the dusty, wooden door. I hoped no one would answer. But as I waited, my eye caught sight of something unexpected—something that would change my life forever. On the ground next to the door lay a simple, blue sticky note. On the note, in beautifully scripted handwriting, was what appeared to be a Bible verse. It seemed slightly out of place, but I didn’t have long to wonder about the its origin. For at the bottom of the sticky note, in the same beautiful, blue writing, was a name. My heart skipped a beat as I read the name: Emma.
Click. I looked up. The handle turned and the door opened. I struggled to take my eyes of the paper and focus on the man now standing before me. “Hello, my name is Emma, and I am a student working on a scholarship,” the words began to mechanically flow from my mouth, but I was having a hard time focusing on what I was saying. I ached to bend down and pick up the note. Was it meant for me?
I finally finished reciting my canvass. The man was kind, but informed me that times were tough. I told him I understood. He thanked me for my time. Then I just stood there, fighting against the urge to pick up the note. The man waited for me to leave, and it was getting awkward now. As I reluctantly began to turn away, the man unexpectedly bent down, picking up the coveted note. “Is this yours?” I caught my breath. Shakily, I replied, “Uh, yeah. I…I think it is.” With a quizzical expression on his face, the kind man handed me the priceless sticky note and closed the door.
I clutched the paper between my fingers with all my might. It’s mine. It has to be. I could hardly wait to get off the man’s lawn to read it. My heart raced like a wild stallion. Reaching the street, still shaking, I held the note in my hand and read the writing.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
YOU ARE LOVED EMMA!
The tears freely flowed again; this time not from pain, but from joy. I don’t know how to explain it—I have never felt so loved. It was as if God Himself reached down from heaven and wrapped up my hurting heart in his gentle arms. God loves me! He really loves me! My questions instantly vanished. God loved me, and He had forgiven me. He loved me, and He was with me. He had never left. My soul soared in the knowledge of my Father’s acceptance and love. I felt wet tears rolling down my cheeks and heard soft sobs escape from my lips. I felt my mouth stretching into a ridiculous grin, but I didn’t care how strange I looked. God loves me.
I made an unsuccessful attempt to control my emotion-ridden voice as I picked up my radio. “Mobile One,” I called my leader. “Come quick! Something amazing just happened!”
At that moment, I believed God Himself had written the beautiful note and sent an angel to personally deliver it to me. I knew God loved me and I had no doubt He would go to such lengths to show it. Later when I had joyfully recounted my experience to my leader and shown her the precious note, I realized that she had been the one to write it. She explained that she knew I was having a rough day and went several doors ahead of me to leave me some encouragement. She’d had the idea for a while, she continued, but always forgot to bring the sticky notes with her. This morning, however, God did not let her forget. Through her, my loving Lord personally hand-wrote this note to me as if it had come straight from heaven.
To this day, God’s love letter to me rests framed within my clear phone case—a constant reminder of His unfailing, life-changing love. May God never let me forget. And as I remember, may I be the means through which His love is revealed to another hurting soul. This is my daily prayer—why not make it yours?