Sunday, August 9, 2009

dear guido,

hi.  you may not remember me.  we've only met two, maybe three, times.  i used to work for a couple of guys you know.  when you would call them, i would answer the phone and patch you through.  i know that in your line of work you meet lots and lots of people.  i would not be at all offended to find out that you really don't remember me.  

i just wanted to let you know that i will never forget you. 

my first "encounter" with you was before i actually became the official "phone-call-patcher-through-er".  the girl who was training me answered the phone one day and chatted briefly.  the next thing i knew she had her head bowed, her eyes closed and she seemed to be listening intently.  i knew that whomever was on the other end of that conversation was praying.  and i could tell that he was praying specifically for her.  she hung up the phone, dried her teary eyes and explained, "that was guido...he is so awesome".  actually, "awesome" might not have been her exact word (she's not really an "awesome"-saying kind of girl).  nevertheless, i quickly understood that getting a call from the guy named guido would be, if nothing else, very interesting. 

turns out "interesting" doesn't really do you justice.  

the first time i actually spoke to you was just a week or two after i officially took over the job. we chit-chatted for a minute and then you gave me a challenge.  you strongly encouraged me to figure out why i had been named rachel.  you suggested that it could be a very powerful "realization" for me...that i was not named by chance...rather, i am rachel for a reason.  you may or may not have prayed for me that day, i don't recall.  what i do remember, though, is getting off the phone with you and having a sense of being known, being befriended, being cared for, and, most importantly, being called to figure out something deeper about myself.

five minutes on the phone with you and i had a new goal in life.  

i pondered it.  i prayed about it.  i did word studies.  i read scripture.  (i must admit that i got a bit hung up on the story of rachel & leah...specifically, that rachel was the beautiful sister...but that was just down right silly of me).  the answer did not come easily.

but i never thought it was supposed to.  

it wasn't until years later, long after i had left that job and moved to a new city - long after i had seen/spoken to you for the last time - that the "realization" finally surfaced.  instantly, the tears flowed.  they were tears of sorrow.  tears of knowing - deeply and truly knowing - that...

i am a lost little lamb, in need of a Shepherd to rescue me.

socrates said, "the unexamined life is a life not worth living".  obviously, i have a whole life to continue examining.  but, let me just say, this particular examination was eye-opening.  it was life-changing, as you promised it would be.  it was recognizing why i do the things i do...who i am.  it was surrender.  it was understanding - really, finally comprehending - that salvation and reconciliation and redemption are not just words in a concordance.  they are, breathing, and active in our every day lives!

it was a deeper level in the life-long journey that is leading me closer to Christ.

guido, there is so much more i could write about you.  maybe about the time you asked my boyfriend (who had just met you 30 seconds prior) to pray for you while he was driving down the interstate, rushing to get you to your destination?  maybe about how you've been an encourager to my former boss and his wife, upholding their marriage and family?  maybe about how you will travel at a moment's notice, sometimes going to the airport without even knowing the destination, just waiting on God to show you the way?  maybe about how you've dealt with pain in your own family, all the while lifting up others?  maybe about how you intercede for others?  maybe about how you speak the Truth?  maybe about how you reach out to people in a very difficult, wearing industry and fulfill a calling that others may consider far too radical?

yes, i could say all that.  although, i have a feeling you wouldn't want me to mention any of it. my sense is that you would have perfect contentment without ever knowing the affect you've had on me.  (that's what makes you far more than "interesting").  i, however, just felt the need to share with you how thankful i am to God for having used you so mightily in my life.  and thank YOU for always listening to His voice and following where He leads.  blessings to you, my friend!

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