They found it after their mother died. Her God Box. In it she had stowed dozens of handwritten notes to God on behalf of her husband, her son, and daughter. Mary Lou, by reading the notes, came to understand her mother's unspoken pain, the depth of her devotion to her family, and the breadth of her empathy. Mary Lou would find ten boxes in all – each one stuffed with notes to God. As she went through the boxes it was like reading a diary of their family life.
Mary Lou's mom was a people person, listening to everyone's stories. Before she started the God Box, her mom would try to make sense of others' pain. “When Mom adopted the God Box, she seemed more at ease giving the problem over to stronger hands. I really believe it gave Mom true contentment and peace of mind,” Mary Lou writes. (60)
Interspersed with photos of her mother's prayer notes, Mary Lou reveals the persistent faith of her mother. She kept up the ritual for twenty years. “Mom's faith never flagged. She never stopped hoping for a cure or a miracle.” (90) Yet her mother understood the results were up to God. He was the One in control.
Mary Lou lost her mom first, then her dad. As her dad was dying, Mary Lou placed her first prayer note in one of her mother's God Boxes, passing on the discipline to another generation.
Mary Lou hopes that the story of her mother's God Box ritual might inspire others to begin the practice themselves. Though it was not her mother's intent, her prayer notes left a legacy of her belief and devotion. Perhaps a God Box will help you leave a legacy for those you love too.
(Note: Mary Lou's mother was Catholic and prayed accordingly.)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from a publicity group for the purpose of this review.