If the Christmas lights were shining, they could not be seen through the fog and drear. Dreadfully Drear. The dampness soaked through jackets and jeans right into the souls of those on the street. It felt like fifteen extra pounds of oppression on Terry Jameson’s chest. The damp darkness burned the back of his throat, and the back of his soul.
It had been several days since he picked up mail. There was no reason to make the trip on this day other than a need to get out of the house and keep himself alive by saying hello to everyone who interrupted his self-absorption. He didn’t even know the lady’s name. From her postal counter she always acted glad to see him. Worth the trip.
The line was long. Of course. It was the busiest shipping day of the year. He found Christmas cards, no bills and some engaging advertisements in his post box, and a yellow card saying there was a package too large for the box.
“You may as well come join us,” invited a lady. “If the USPS had any class at all they would be offering Christmas drinks.” From the smell, she may have gotten an early start.
He played his usual game observing the large packages being mailed, making comments about how fortunate the recipient. Then, he asked himself, if that package were for me, what would I want it to contain? He didn’t long linger with that question before asking, If I were mailing that, to whom would I send it and what would I send that would make their life brighter, easier or rich?
“Good morning, Mr. Jameson. May I help you?”
He handed the nice lady the yellow card. She returned from the shelving to say there was no package too large, but there was a letter addressed to him that required his signature. As always, Terry’s imagination kicked in. Not many certified or registered letters arrived in his post office box. He was relieved this one wasn’t from the IRS or the deranged person who wanted to make sure he got the list of disgruntled complaints and suggestions that sounded like a terrorist’s demands.
“Merry Christmas, Terry!” The cheery voice of a rural mail carrier in the parking lot whose vehicle was covered with mud. He returned the greeting and looked again at the return address which he didn’t recognize. Reluctant to open the number 10 business envelope, he gave his imagination permission to have full run. If inside the envelope was $1000, he would make sure friends at the downtown rehab-training center received part of it. If $10,000 he would pay production costs for a friend’s new album. It was Terry’s intent to do for someone or many others exactly what had happened to his family with the last certified letter.
“Lord, please receive my thanks for your open-handedness to my family. Whatever is in this envelope, give me all the wisdom to use it for the purpose you have in mind.” Using the pen knife connected to the post box key, he neatly sliced the envelope. He was holding his breath.
Terry unfolded the heavy stock stationary. There was no signature to recognize, nor was there a letterhead. In beautiful blue ink, eighteenth century style writing, with flourishes and lines, he was instructed:
“As you look across the city, there is a building with a widow’s watch. The enclosed key will unlock the front door. Two hours after the key is used, the alarms will sound and the direct line to the police department will activate. You have two hours in that building. From the widow’s watch you will have a vantage point to see the New Year. Not a calendar of events, but the streams that determine the year’s productivity and value.”
He turned the watermarked paper over just in case there was a name or clue—perhaps further instruction. There were none. He knew his writing would not match the ornate design as he wrote questions and plans to fill his two hours.
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Although I really like that story I changed my mind. I wasn’t sure I could tell a strong enough story that would impact you as powerfully as I am feeling these things.
This series includes:
1–The Post Office Parking Lot Vision
2.–Emotional Revenue Streams
3.–Power of Story
4.–Faith as Resource
5.–Hope as Resource
6.–Love as Resource
Join me for 2015–From Your Chosen Advantage–2
©2014 D. Dean Benton—Writer, Wonderer, Provoker