Benefit of Doubt Letter to God – Cerita tentang Manfaat Surat Keraguan kepada Tuhan (benefit of doubt letter to God. (Baca juga: President Sukarno of Indonesia : Hope and Dream)
Rancho’s house – the lone house in the entire valley – was on the crown of a low hill. From the pinnacle of the hill, one could see the rapid flowing stream and next to its vast fields of ripe core in between the red kidney bean flowers. Looking at it one could predict that it was going to be good harvest but it needed a rainfall, however brief.
All through the morning, Rancho kept scanning the sky for signs of rainfall and he was quite confident that it would rain. “You know, woman, now we are finally going to get some rain.” His wife, who was busy preparing food, replied: “Yes, God willing.”
As soon as Rancho’s family, his wife and sons, sat for dinner, just as he had predicated big drops of rain started falling. In the northeast, huge clouds were covering the sky like a blanket. The air had the smell of rain combined with the smell of the earth. The atmosphere at that time was absolutely heavenly. The boys left their food on pretext of getting one thin and another. All they wanted was to get wet and play in the rain.
Rancho was very happy as he looked at this field, “Ah! Now my harvest is going to be wonderful.” He started dreaming about all the things he will be doing once he sells the crops. Suddenly heavy winds began to blow accompanied by big drops of rain, which looked like huge pearls of ice. “Oh my God! This can’t be happening, ” he thought. “No!! No!! I will be destroyed. This is no rain, it is a hailstorm. I hope it will pass soon.” But in front of his family, he kept a strong front and said, “I am sure it will pass soon, don’t worry.”
Unfortunately it didn’t. the hailstorm lasted the whole night. It destroyed the entire field of his precious crops. Everything looked so white as if someone had thrown sacks and sacks of pearls all over the place.
Rancho and his wife were worried to death. Everything they had was destroyed and they had no inkling as to what they will do.
The boys asked them, “what are we going to do? Everything is destroyed. We don’t even have few pieces of corn or beans. Does this mean we are going to die of hunger?”
Rancho said, “My sons, nobody dies of hunger. Always remember we have God. I am sure he will help us.”
All through the night, Rancho kept on thinking how to ask for help from God. “God knows everything but I think I should write to him and ask directly what I want.”
Rancho was thankful for the day his parents had sent him to school. Even thought he wasn’t interested in studies, he had grudgingly learn to read and write. So he took out paper and a pen and started writing.
The Violet Hill
18th may 1999
I am writing this letter to you out of extreme urgency, otherwise I wouldn’t have disturbed you. You know about the recent hailstorm in my place. Well, it has destroyed me. Everything in my farm was destroyed. My corn and kidney beans were almost ready and all it needed was a rainfall but instead of rainfall came a storm. If it had lasted for a short period it would have been OK, but unfortunately it lasted for an entire night. It has put me at a serious disadvantage, you see God, my sole source of income is that farm and now it is completely destroyed. Nothing is left. If I leave it like this, my family will die of hunger, since we will not have anything to eat. I can’t sit still and do nothing about it. I need 100 pesos to buy the seeds and resow my field all over again and buy some food till the next harvest. So dear God, please help me. I know you will not disappoint me.
Rancho, the farmer
He put the letter inside an envelope and addressed it to “God, 7th Heaven” and placed a stamp on it and dropped it in the mailbox. The workers at the post office were preparing the letters to mail when they came across the letter addressed to God. The post man who came across this letter became curious because he had never seen a letter addressed to God. He wanted to open in the letter but his job ethics stopped him from doing so. He decided to take the letter to the postmaster. The post master was a very nice and kind gentleman. He always helped people in any way he could. When the post man gave him the letter, he looked at it and said, “it takes a man with strong faith to start a communication with God. I wis I had such strong faith.
After much thought, he decided to read the letter and perhaps reply it. He opened Rancho’s letter. Little did he know that replying the letter would need more than good intention, a pen and paper. Rancho needed a lot of money but the postmaster didn’t have any. Since he had already decided to help Rancho, he decided to give part of his salary, and he asked his friends and co-workers to contribute. But it was impossible for him to collect 100 pesos. He was happy that at least 70 pesos were collected. So he put the money in an envelope and signed it as “God” and asked the postman to deliver it to Rancho’s house.
When the postman arrived at Rancho’s house and delivered the letter to him, Rancho was exhilarated beyond means. And he kept repeating Thank you God! I knew you wouldn’t let me down.
Rancho had very strong faith in God. He was not surprised when he opened the envelope. But as he was counting the money, he became very angry. God couldn’t have made a mistake in sending the money. So he took out paper and wrote to God again. Then he placed a stamp on it and put it in the mailbox. When the postman took the letter out, he immediately took it to the postmaster. The postmaster quickly opened the letter and everyone in the post office gathered around him wanting to know what Rancho wrote to God.
The Violet Hill
20th may 1999
I am really grateful to you for sending the money. I knew you wouldn’t let my family go hungry. Of the money you sent me, I only received 70 pesos. Please send me the rest. I really need the money. But, this time please, God don’t send it through the mail, because the people working here in this post office are all a bunch of thieves.
Rancho, the farmer
(Inspired from “Una carta a Dios” by Gregorio Lopez y Fuente)