Nashville was the first stop on our recent family vacation.  We drove 600 miles that day, checked into the hotel, freshened up, and then Kim and I headed downtown to the Ryman Auditorium for the Saturday night performance of the Grand Ole Opry.  No, I’m not a big fan of country music.  But I enjoy live music of just about any kind, and attending the Opry at the Ryman is a truly American cultural experience.  Hannah and I went to the Opry there in the fall of 2008, and Kim and I saw Mark Knopfler perform at the Ryman back in 2005.  It is just an amazing venue: built as the Union Gospel Tabernacle in 1892, long-time home of the Grand Ole Opry, status as “The Mother Church of Country Music,” site of N.B. Hardeman’s Tabernacle Sermons, hardwood floors, unpadded pews, stained glass windows, and a balcony. 

In addition to keeping country music lovers in touch with past generations of performers (Little Jimmy Dickens was there at the age of 89!), the Opry also provides a showcase for new talent.  The highlight of the evening’s show for me was a song performed by up-and-comer Teea Goans (pronounced TEE-uh GO-uhns).  “Letter from God” was written by Angela Kaset and Rob Crosby and appears on Goans’ debut album, “The Way I Remember It,” released earlier this year.  Goans has a beautiful voice, and she turned in a very moving performance of the song that night.

The song reminded me of the counseling exercise that I did a couple of years ago when I was asked to write a letter to God and also to pen a response from God back to me (Who God Wants Me to Be). 

I know that God has sent all of us a letter and that He has communicated His love and His will for our lives through His Word.  More than that, He sent Jesus as a Living Letter to our hearts. 

Still, I was quite taken by the song and moved by its message of hope and reassurance.  Click the hyper-linked title below to listen.  

Letter from God

Went to the mailbox in my pajamas
There was a letter with a funny postmark on it
No return address; junk mail, I guess
But I opened it anyway

It was written in a beautiful hand
Words so simple a child could understand
Almost spilled my coffee as the truth dawned on me
“Oh, my God” was all that I could say

And it said…

This is a letter from God
I know it’s out of the blue
But I’ve had my mind on you
I’ve seen you struggle lately
The way the world is goin’ crazy

And I felt you givin’ up
So I thought I’d get in touch
There’s not a moment you’re alone
I still love you like My own
I know there’s work to do
But I’ve got faith in you                                                                           
So please don’t give up on Me

Laid down my letter to catch my breath
The room was spinnin’ and I felt light in my head
But why would You write to me? 
What’s so special ’bout me 
I can’t heal this broken world and all its broken hearts

I kept on readin’ through a cloud of tears
Half from curiosity and half out of fear
It was like He knew me
He could see right through me
He wanted me to know how beautiful we are

And He said…

This is a letter from God
I love you all with all my might
Red and yellow, black and white 
And I need you more than ever
To bring My children back together

Just remember that it starts
With each and every person’s heart
We’ve been over this before
Feed the hungry, help the poor
Turn the other cheek, love your enemies
And, please, remember to forgive.

Then I woke up in a tangled bed
Tears on my pillow and those words in my head
A little confused, but with a new sense of hope
If He’s not givin’ up on us, then I sure won’t 

Thought I was doin’ pretty well
But I can do better
I might have been dreamin’ 
But I’m still believin’ 

… I got a letter from God