I GOT A JARRING EMAIL from a reader over the weekend.
He’s someone I picked at random from my list of blog subscribers. He got a free book in my weekly giveaway.
I got a thank-you email that rocked me back in my chair.
The gent gave me permission to let you read part of it.
I think you’ll understand why I wanted to share it with you.
Dear Mr. Miller
I just wanted to let you know that I received the book that you sent me…I’m looking forward to reading the whole book along with more of your books in the future. I have really enjoyed reading your blog and articles since I’ve discovered you a few months ago. I’m a Christian and have found your work very knowledgeable and refreshing!
I’m 33 years old, but I’ve been through quite a bit in my short amount of time here on earth. I was actually born with Cystic Fibrosis, which is a genetic lung disease. In October 2008, I received a double lung transplant due to the end stages of my disease. I am now facing a kidney transplant and kidney dialysis in my near future due to the damage of my lung transplant anti-rejection medications. I have actually been in the hospital at UNC [University of North Carolina] in Chapel Hill, NC for the past week. I was just released today [Saturday, April 1, 2017].
I’m a firm believer in God and believe that He has a plan for me. I will continue to fight to live as long as He gives me the strength to. I truly believe in the power of prayer and know that it has helped me through many tough times in my life. If you don’t mind, please do keep me in your prayers.
Thank you again for all your time and help! I will pray that God continues to bless you and your family with good health and that He will continue to guide you to write other great books to teach others about Him!
Maybe I’ll be the lucky winner of some more of your books in the future. If not, I plan to save up some money to buy more of your books. My money is always tight due to all my medical bills, but your books are worth the money, so I’m going to save as much as I can, so I can purchase your books.
If you are ever in North Carolina please do let me know. I would love to meet you and talk with you in person. Meeting you is definitely on my bucket list of things I’d like to accomplish before I die.
How do you respond to an email like that?
I’m a skeptic, I’m afraid, educated as a journalist. So, I did some research to make sure Chris wasn’t writing from the outskirts of Moscow, if you know what I mean.
His story checks out. He’s legit.
His body is in trouble. Deep trouble.
Life expectancy for someone born with cystic fibrosis, but who manages to survive childhood: 37 years in the USA, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Still, as tough as the road ahead might look for Chris, it sure sounds like his spirit is in good hands.
I left him with a short prayer that the apostle Paul prayed for a small group of Christians facing life-or-death hard times in a town in what is now northern Greece.
Chris, “May the God of peace purify you from the inside out, and in every way—so that everything that makes you who you are, in spirit, soul, and body, will be kept safe and blame-free when our leader, Jesus the Messiah, comes” (2 Thessalonians 5:23, Casual English Bible).
There are some days when I believe that the most important thing I write isn’t a book. It’s an email.
Thank you Steve for sharing this….you will never know how much your books mean to people!
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Wayne. I hope you’re doing well.
It must be deeply gratifying to receive an e-mail like that! May God continue to bless you and your work, Steve, and may God bless Chris!
Stephen M. Miller
Emails like that sure put things back into perspective for me.
Wonderful reminder to look deeper to see beyond the the salutations
Thank you for posting this. I believe that God brings certain people into our lives when we need them the most. I truly believe that God brought you into my life during this difficult time to help inspire me not to give up. In doing so I can only hope that I may inspire other people not to give up and trust in the Lord. Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I continue on in my difficult journey.