The Other Mail

My paper mail pile was threatening to avalanche onto the floor, so I decided to sort through it more thoroughly. There’s something very satisfying about filling a grocery bag full of paper to recycle, and leaving nicely organized piles there on the mail shelf.

As usual, after extracting the catalogs, the charity solicitations dominated the pile. I like to save them up when I can see extra money in my future, and then spend a few hours when the money arrives, writing checks to a dozen or so organizations, sharing the wealth. But right now, I’m counting on any extra money to pay some bills coming due, so those charity solicitations are joining the credit card offers in the recycling.

Except a few: Food for the Poor, World Vision, and Doctors without Borders.

With a Thousand Splendid Suns still fresh in my mind, I couldn’t bring myself to toss them. Scanning the mailers from Food for the Poor and World Vision, I remembered a scene from the novel, describing hunger in that very personal, gripping, and accessible way so characteristic of the novel. Catching a phrase on the Doctors without Borders letter, I was reminded of a scene in a hospital.

Through these charities, I can reach beyond the novel, and help real people. Another means towards a more hopeful world.

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