You’ve done things. And I’m not talking about big things—everybody knows you make the earth spin and stars twinkle. No. I’m talking about tiny things you've done.

Dear God,

It’s me again. Actually, I don’t know what you want me to call you. For all I know, you might prefer to be called something Hebrew, Latin, German, or Cherokee. Anyway, one thing’s for sure: you’re older than the names people call you. That much I remember from Sunday school.

My mother called you, “The Lord.” My granny called you “Heavenly Father.” My uncle used to call you the “Big Guy.”

Either way, I was raised in church, and I remember hearing a lot about you in the tiny chapels of my childhood.

I love those chapels. I remember plaster ceilings which leaked, and pews that creaked when people shifted weight from cheek to cheek.

And Sunday-school teachers who made you sound like an old Western sheriff who wouldn’t take any lip. Like Wyatt Earp, or the Terminator.

But that’s not you. Not at all.

And even though I don’t know a lot about you, I know a little.

I know that you’re the sun. You’re pine trees. You’re the sky over Lake Martin. The smell of baked apples Mother used to cook. And prettiness.

You’re the look on a kid’s face when he or she catches a fish.

You are every blessed Andy Griffith Show episode ever made. You are Aunt Bee, Opie, Barney, Otis. You had absolutely nothing to do with Matlock.

You are guitar music my uncle used to pick. You’re popping noises from hickory logs in a fireplace. You’re salted butter. Roasted pecans. Bottled Coca-Cola. And loyalty from a friend.

You’ve done things. And I’m not talking about big things—everybody knows you make the earth spin and stars twinkle.

No. I’m talking about tiny things you’ve done. Like how you managed to let me find a wood figurine my grandfather carved. It’s a buffalo, and it’s almost a hundred years old. I found it packed in an old box.

Then there’s the time I got locked out of my house. I was carrying armfuls of groceries. My wife was out of town. And I had to pee.

It was a miracle. The back window was open. That was all you.

How about the way you made it rain last week? Or the way you woke me up this morning.

This Thanksgiving morning, my eyes opened to see a gold-colored sky during sunrise.

There was a bloodhound on my bed—curled at my feet, snoring. A woman beside me, sleeping with her mouth open. The same woman who’s slept beside me for fifteen years.

So I should thank you for her. And the coffee smells every morning. And Conecuh sausage, and eggs I eat for breakfast.

And my mother. And soft cotton. My sister. My niece, Lily. And baseball. And tomatoes. And the sound of a mandolin. And the taste of rainwater.

I don’t thank you nearly enough, and I’m sorry about that. I really am. Because even though life is no cakewalk, and even though it looks like this world is practically falling apart sometimes, it’s not. And you’re still here. Being you.

I’m sorry, I don’t know what your ancient name is, so I’ll just call you God.

Thank you, God.

Your friend,

—Sean Dietrich

33 comments

  1. J P Birmingham - November 24, 2017 1:18 pm

    Thank you Father for Sean and people like him who help others start each day with a smile both on the face and in the heart.

    Reply
  2. Scout - November 24, 2017 1:25 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for sharing your words. God is in them, too.

    Reply
  3. CKD - November 24, 2017 1:33 pm

    In my heart, I know that God read every word of your letter, and She loved it.

    Reply
  4. Linda - November 24, 2017 1:56 pm

    I love all your commentaries and look forward to them every day. You sound like a wonderful person/man/husband. The things you say give me hope, and we need that. A lot of it. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. Judy Miller - November 24, 2017 2:20 pm

    You just keep talking to Him like that everyday, and you’ll be just fine, Kiddo.

    Reply
  6. Sue Cronkite - November 24, 2017 2:33 pm

    You got it right, kid. Every smidgen.

    Reply
  7. Samanthemofthesun - November 24, 2017 2:47 pm

    I think you may just be the truest Christian I know of. <3

    Reply
  8. Jackie Darnell - November 24, 2017 2:53 pm

    Thanks dude, Now I am sure you were born on Walton’s Mountain!
    Very good visit. THANKS! You are ALWAYS a good read!

    Reply
  9. Diana L Hiebert - November 24, 2017 3:23 pm

    …..and thank you for that teacher who encouraged and inspired you to become a writer so many years ago. Because of them, we are able to enjoy and be inspired by your words, which is something this world certainly needs!

    Reply
  10. Suzanne Brantley - November 24, 2017 3:39 pm

    I agree. We don’t thank him enough! And I agree with the “Matlock” thing! Thank you, Sean for reminding us.

    Reply
  11. Marty from Alabama - November 24, 2017 3:44 pm

    Left home a little after 6:00 this morning headed south on Alabama 69. We are going to Monroeville to attend the services of a very sweet lady. She was a friend from church until she marrried my husband’s uncle; then she became family. Just said this all to let you know that God will be there. That’s just the kind of lady Betty was.
    May He richly bless you and yours.

    Reply
  12. Kathy Phillips - November 24, 2017 3:49 pm

    God has blessed you in many ways. I love reading everything you write every day. I hope everyday is a blessed day for you and your family. God bless you.

    Reply
  13. Connie - November 24, 2017 4:26 pm

    That was beautiful.

    Reply
  14. Linda Akers - November 24, 2017 4:28 pm

    And God….thank you for Sean Dietrich. You knew we needed someone with his heart and his way with words to help us not forget our fellow men and women and children and pets who struggle day to day. You are loved Sean! Hello to Jaime and Ellie Mae.

    Reply
  15. Marin Muncaster - November 24, 2017 5:08 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Sean. Thank you for reminding me of all those things I am grateful for today and everyday! God Bless!

    Reply
  16. Phyllis Taunton - November 24, 2017 5:13 pm

    This is but one of my favorites; I look forward to reading your column every day in my in-box. Thank you for reminding me if all the good in our lives.

    Reply
  17. Jackie Darnell - November 24, 2017 5:35 pm

    Dietrick Lamade was born Feb. 6, 1859, in Goelshausen, Baden, Germany, I ran across this while researching for a book. He was the father of The Grit. That is probably old news to you, but new to me. I used to seel his papers. 😉

    Reply
  18. Sandi in FL - November 24, 2017 6:05 pm

    Your post today brought such a big smile to my face, Sean! God loves you unconditionally. Sincere thanks for sharing your letter to Him with us, your readers.

    Reply
  19. Cindy Bailey - November 24, 2017 6:37 pm

    Yes, thank you God!

    Reply
  20. Harold Duncan - November 24, 2017 7:43 pm

    Just want you to know that you are a daily blessing in my life! You remind me about the really good people in this world and how they far outnumber those who do so much damage to others.

    I know some question your faith on a regular basis, but I, too, grew up in church (and still go), and I believe you are one of the most spiritual people I have ever “known.” I thank God for you and your messages.

    Harold

    Reply
  21. Carlin Brooks - November 24, 2017 8:07 pm

    Sean, This blog is tremendous, true and so are all the comments I read. Precious words. I know my words are clumsy compared to yours, but I have got to add this: The God you spoke of loves us so much he came to visit us in the form of Jesus. He allowed himself to be killed by us, but destroyed sin and death in the process. The process he started continues with his followers fighting daily battles – (this blog is a great example of that.) I have seen the report of the final battle, WE WIN. He has paid the price, we just have to trust Him. May God richly bless you and enable you too keep writing.

    Reply
  22. Wendy - November 24, 2017 10:21 pm

    What could possibly be more than beautiful? The works of my heavenly Father and today’s writings of Sean’s!

    Reply
  23. Linda Chipman - November 24, 2017 10:31 pm

    Thank you for this one Sean. As I was reading I was thanking God for all the blessings he has given me.

    Reply
  24. Patricia Gibson - November 24, 2017 10:36 pm

    Thank you, Sean and AMEN

    Reply
  25. unkle kenny - November 24, 2017 11:34 pm

    no matter what we call “I Am” he listens. to deny his existence is foolish , even the devil acknowledged his existence and authority over all thangs. good happens, miracles seen and unseen. God is good. thanks for the constant reminders you observe and bring to our attention. and thanks for the “kind corrections” you dole out to some that probably need a knot snatched in there donkey. thanks for using your gifts to console and inspire us all. proud of you! ……..a granpa carved Buffalo , wow , that gift took a while getting to you . uk

    Reply
  26. Teri - November 25, 2017 1:28 am

    He has many names – Yahweh, Adonai, Jehovah, El Shaddai, The Eternal One, – maybe you should get to know Him- He is the most Wonderful One you could ever write about and all the things He does for everyone and carries all the people you write about and provides a way for each of them- including you and your mom after tragedy with your dad. I pray for your eyes to be open to the Greatness of the Living God, Sean Dietrich

    Reply
  27. Simple Thyme Prims - November 25, 2017 2:14 am

    The more simple the thanks, the more depth it takes on, The Good Lord, God, The Big Guy, Heavenly Father, The Creator, it the epitome of simple. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    Reply
  28. Jack Quanstrum - November 25, 2017 3:05 am

    Thank you, Sean and thank you God! Amen!

    Reply
  29. Lisa Thigpen - November 25, 2017 4:06 am

    Love, love, love this! You blessed me. God bless you big!!

    Reply
  30. Elaine Karrh - November 25, 2017 7:45 am

    Thankful,so thankful…for HIM,for you,Sean,for Alabama football,for my sweet dog lying beside me,for this great country we live in,for finding hidden treasures from our grandfathers,and so much more….

    Reply
  31. Anne Trawick - November 27, 2017 11:55 pm

    Could be the best yet.

    Reply
  32. Jody - November 28, 2017 3:35 am

    This is a blessing. I will read it again and again. Thank you Lord for the gifts Sean shares in his posts!

    Reply
  33. Gloria - November 29, 2017 2:30 am

    Your sweet words warm my heart each and every time I read one of your stories. God Bless you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply