You’ve Got Mail #3

Dear Jahar,

I am always amazed at what people are willing to do for money… sell out a friend, turn their back on a loved one, violate convictions once deeply held, act like a fool, go on a reality show and suffer horribly – the list goes on and on…

I recently watched a TV reality show called “Alone.”

Some say you have access to limited TV in prison. Others say you do not. In case you aren’t familiar with this particular reality show on the History Channel, I will describe how “Alone” works and what it subjects willing participants to:

Ten contestants are dropped off in remote areas of northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, far enough apart that they will not come in contact with each other. Each contestant selects 10 items of survival gear from a pre-approved list of 50, and is issued a kit of standard equipment, clothing and first aid/emergency supplies. They are also given a set of cameras to document their daily experiences. Attempting to live in the wild for as long as possible, they must hunt for food, build shelters and fend off predators while enduring extreme isolation and psychological distress. Contestants who wish to withdraw from the competition for any reason (referred to as “tapping out”) may signal a rescue crew using a provided satellite telephone. The last remaining contestant wins half a million dollars.

Now doesn’t that sound like fun?

I said in my last letter that the hardest aspect of a painful experience is not the actual pain, bad as that may be, but the not knowing when or if it will end. On this reality show, participants are told the show could last up to a year. That is a sobering thought, is it not?

As time goes on, contestants have no way of knowing how many other competitors remain. That fact alone would drive me nuts.

I happened to catch the end of a season and watched as the final four were whittled down to one. The winner did it for his kids. The thought of them and how they could use the money for college kept him going. He also turned out to be an excellent fisherman and the waters around him were kind, which was a real advantage.

I watched as the second to last man basically broke from the isolation after a little more than two months. Even though I knew he had chosen to go through this experience for the possibility of a financial windfall, it was painful to see him sobbing and crying out to God for help when he had reached his limit of endurance.

At that point in the show, I was no longer really watching – I too was crying, thinking of you. Unlike the contestants on “Alone,” you did not ask for or deserve what you have been thrust into. You did not get to choose 10 items to comfort you or enable you to better endure. You do not have a satellite phone you can use to “tap out” when you have had enough.

How I wish you could know what God is doing in the unseen. How I wish you could know what He is orchestrating on your behalf. How I wish you could see the angelic forces being assembled and dispatched to carry out assignments to protect and strengthen you. How I wish you could know, as I do, that God has ordained an end point for your suffering and on that day, you will be finally and fully exonerated. You will walk out of a courtroom and into the arms of those who love you. Having such knowledge now would make all the difference!

A couple days ago, I left the house for a few hours, purposely leaving my cell phone behind. I did not want to be reached, found, tracked or bothered. I wanted to be alone, with no one knowing where I was.

It felt wonderful.

At first, I couldn’t put my finger on why not having my cell made me feel so good, so free. Finally it hit me: I was completely unconnected from man and totally and intimately connected to God. I was utterly dependent on Him if something were to happen. It was wonderful knowing I was completely and Divinely safe and cared for as the hours passed.

I pray God will fill you with this same confidence Jahar. You are loved and valuable. Your worth has not been diminished by what has happened to you. It feels like it has but feelings lie and they can change very quickly– remember that ok?

I wonder if you have moments when hope rises up out of nowhere. I wonder if you have moments when for no apparent reason, you feel an excitement, an expectation you can neither explain or ignore telling you something good is coming. Knowing how God works, I believe you are indeed having such moments.

God is using them to keep you alive, to keep you going. He is leading you along a path you cannot see. As time goes on, His voice will become clearer. On the appointed day, Jesus will be there to reveal Himself to you and when He does, your whole life will suddenly make sense. The pieces will fit together. You will understand why suffering was such a big part of your life experience and how God has used it.

And then you will be ready for the next part of the adventure God  has planned for you.

There is so much more I could say tonight but instead, I want to end with a reminder of something beautiful you’ve been missing for awhile now but will have again in abundance one day.  I’m sure at one time, you would have thought this song to be corny as all get-out but something tells me it’s simple things that have the power to move you now.

Sunshine On My Shoulders

By: John Denver

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a day that I could give you

I’d give to you a day just like today

If I had a song that I could sing for you

I’d sing a song to make you feel this way

 Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high

If I had a tale that I could tell you

I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile

If I had a wish that I could wish for you

I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high

Sunshine almost all the time makes me high

Sunshine almost always…

Like I have before, I write as a friend.

“Think of me as a fellow-patient in the same hospital who, having been admitted a little earlier, could give some advice.”  C.S. Lewis

Until I think of something else to say, I wish you peace, and a little sunshine now and then,  Jahar.




5 thoughts on “You’ve Got Mail #3”

  1. What a beautiful letter Lynn! I bet Dzhokhar would really like and enjoy a letter like that. It’s so different than a typical letter. I’ll also bet that Dzhokhar does love some sunshine now and then. Remember his tweet, something like: summer, I’m waiting for you. I’m sure he has some moments of happiness, maybe from thinking about something in his past, a beautiful sky, a great book… I’m sure hope does arise out of nowhere. God is good and knows when we need a real boost or a tiny pleasure. We know He is there with Dzhokhar protecting and loving him. I love the song too, so hopeful. Thanks for this Lynn.

    1. Thank you Julie… I have missed hearing from you. You are a little ray of sunshine to me – did you know that? If not, you do now…

  2. Back when I was made aware of the ridiculous things being tweeted from that account, I had some private discussions with some key people I know well. The determination was made rather quickly and easily to ignore this account. Still there are some important points I want to make and I can see now this needs to be the subject of my next blog post.

  3. Hi Bridget, you are so right about the first part. The second part is total and utter nonsense. I would advise you to ignore the account who said that. I am aware of that guy and believe me Jahar is NOT getting married. The person who tried spreading that is attention seeking and that is all!

  4. Such a compelling letter Lynn..I myself feel your anguish for Jahars freedom. Life in solitary is a matter how strong a person is..the mind and body may sometimes feel defeated. Jahar does not deserve to be in that awful place he is in. That young man is innocent and the truthful ones see and know he is. His Savior will be the one to set him free and when Jahar is exonerated..I am hoping I will be there to hug him and let him know some never gave up no matter how tough it became to continue…no matter how much we were tried to be silenced…I will await that day. Until then..our journey continues to make sure that sunshine on his shoulders makes him happy…because I BELIEVE that day will come..powerful heart written letter Lynn for Always.❤

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