Friday, July 30, 2010

A very thoughtful gift

This morning there was a book in the post.

That in itself isn't surprising as we buy almost all our English-language books through the net (of course) and so, being bookworms, it's a rare day when there is nothing in the mail.

Today, though, I thought I recognized my brother's handwriting on the outside. A quick check of the upper left-hand corner proved I was right. Well, that was downright mysterious—what kind of a package was this?

The next surprise was looking at the franking stamp and discovering that he'd mailed the parcel on the 26th, Monday, and I was receiving it on the Friday morning—it must have hit every mail bag just right.

It reminded me of a silly incident I've never forgotten from the time when I was living away from my family. I went to the University of Saskatchewan during the school year of 1968-69 and it was during this time that my parents left Yellowknife and moved to Toronto.

It was while I was spending the summer holidays of 1969 therefore in my own apartment that my mother wrote me. I won't bore you with further details but suffice to say that she wrote me and mailed the letter from Toronto on the Friday and I received it in the morning post the very next day, Saturday! Overnight delivery! Imagine getting a letter a distance of nearly five thousand kilometres overnight!

Anyway, this parcel was less impressive in some ways (although North Carolina to France in five days is a good service in anyone's book) but when I opened it up I found the book carefully gift-wrapped with a card taped to the outside.

I was really puzzled since my birthday was long past and Christmas was not yet in sight. Besides, I'm not really the type and neither is Bryan.

Well, this is what I found on the card inside.

And the book, you must be wondering? It is a beautiful leather-bound volume called The Valley of Vision and subtitled A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, being edited by someone called Arthur Bennett and published by the Banner of Truth Trust.

I can't tell you much more about it of course because I haven't read it yet nor ever even heard of it. It is definitely not the kind of book I would naturally gravitate to but I will enjoy reading it on the basis on what it means to Bryan.

This is what I wrote to my brother last night:

Subject: Thank you
Date: 30/07/2010

Bryan, I just received the book you sent me in the post this morning (mailed by you the 26th!) and before even reading it I want to acknowledge it, to thank you, and to tell you how touched I am by the gesture.

To say I was surprised doesn't do events justice -- not least because it doesn't appear to me to be the kind of book I would ever have chosen to read for myself. But the Lord knows better what I need and maybe you do too.

I will comment more fully on it, of course, as I get into it. For now I've only read the preface but will work my way through it thinking of you and your comments on the accompanying card and how much it meant to you. Thanks very much; I will treasure it all the more.


1 comment:

  1. This is SO strange! I have only recently heard about this book myself (not through Bryan) and have it on my Amazon "wish list" to buy at a later date when I have worked through the ones I'm reading now. I have heard nothing but good reports of this book - enjoy!