What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. - Psalm 8:4-5 (NRSV) “Sunday – Aug. 9 1981. Dear Jennifer. Your letter from camp came yesterday. I am so glad you are enjoying it and making friends.” Among a stack of teen love notes and cartoons clipped from The New Yorker, these words jumped out at me. My Grammy wrote thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of letters in her life. This is the only one I have, and I didn’t even know I had it until I started going through an old box last week. “I pray daily for you,” I read, “and for the people who influence you. You are so special, you know, and I love you so much!” “You are so special, you know.” At 13, writhing with self-conscious self-loathing, I knew nothing of the kind. But the words must have touched a nerve or else why would I have saved this little note when so much else has been tossed or lost? I was much more likely to be reading Trixie Belden on my camp bunk in the afternoon than Psalm 8. So the still-speaking God delivered the good news in a note from my grandmother instead: reminding a lonely girl on the edge of womanhood that she was crowned in glory and honor, although she most assuredly did not know it yet. And thirty years later, like a book opened at just the right page, the words hit home again, “You are so special, you know.” Prayer Beautiful Grandmother God, thank you for the messengers you send our way again and again and again, to remind us of how special you have made us. Amen.
About the Author Jennifer Garrison Brownell is pastor of Vancouver United Church of Christ. Her writing appears in the collection, The Words of Her Mouth: Psalms For the Struggle, available from The Pilgrim Press.