Tales : No Reply Required

There was, once upon a time a man who got a job as a rural postman. It was not complicated work – his duty was to walk through the countryside, visiting all the little huts and farms, collecting and delivering mail – but he took his responsibility very seriously.

The people who lived in the area were simple folk who seldom needed his services, but he soon discovered that there was one old woman who lived alone in a remote little cottage that always had a letter for him to take away. The first time she stopped him as he walked along the country road, she held out an envelope, on which was written simply ‘God.’

Puzzled, the man took the envelope, and said, “But mother – there is no address.”

The old woman thought for a moment, and then with a pencil wrote on the envelope, ‘Heaven.’

Uncertainly, the postman put the envelope in his bag, thinking that, since it wasn’t an address in his district, perhaps the post office in the city would know how to deliver it.

The next time he passed her cottage, the old woman had another letter, also for God, and so it went, week after week.

As the months passed, the postman began to feel a little guilty taking the old woman’s letters, as he could not be sure they were being delivered. This troubled his sense of duty. Each time he returned to his village, he would put the envelope in the sack destined for the city, but where her letters went after that he had no idea.

With this in mind, one day when he came to her cottage, and she appeared with her usual letter, he said gently, “Mother, these letters you are always sending to God…”

“Yes?” she replied brightly.

“Well,” said the postman tactfully, “He never seems to write back.”

The old woman smiled broadly. “Bless you, son, He doesn’t need to write back. I’m just so happy to know that He is reading my mail!”

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