She deleted it. After all, she was not one to bother saints or gods with prayers for succor, so she felt it unnecessary to be spammed, especially by a Jesus with a surname of 'Sanchez'.
Her singular connection to religiosity involved a rustic hanging cupboard of solid pine covered with green paint and artfully distressed to show the mustard-colored grain. From one important occasion to another, Cherie placed keepsakes on its shelves, memorabilia of her life. With them she enclosed chatty notes.
Dear Jesus: Sister Regina told me to stand in front of the class because I couldn't answer a question. She had the students say all together, ‘Cherie is a dimwitted girl.’ When I got the courage to say it wasn’t a nice thing to do, Sister told me to mind my manners. ‘Cherie Polite, be polite!’ The class laughed.
When the boy next door asked her to marry him, both sets of parents – blatantly eavesdropping – took turns walking past the room where the young man perched on his knee and held out a velvet box. Cherie looked down at the ring.
Dear Jesus: I'm happy I’m getting married, though I'm really not sure he's the answer to my prayers―if I did pray anymore―but then, what do I know?
Dear Jesus: Found out the answer to my question.
“You're gonna be happy here,” she said. “Prayer is power. Why, one morning I went to the building supply store and before I turned into the driveway I said, 'Oh Lord, please let me find a parking space by the door.' Guess what?”
Dear Jesus: Coffee was good, though.
One incandescently cloud-free Sunday morning on her last day in town before she moved back home, Cherie's friend telephoned. “Hey, wanna go hear the Dalai Lama speak?” Louie asked.
By the time they reached the event, it was too late. As far as Cherie could see, after enlightenment came celebration. There were many hundreds of people singing, dancing, and playing frisbee in the open field.
“Wow, look over there,” Louie said, directing her attention to a woman wearing Tibetan garb. She was rubbing the head of a young boy seated near her on a straw mat as she talked to similarly attired women, all clutching beads and laughing. The boy, oblivious, played with a hand-held game.
“That kid has the latest model. Now that's a religious experience,” Louie said.
Dear Jesus: Much belief . . . and joy . . . for people today. Even Louie!
Early the next morning, Cherie hitched a ride with Louie's cousin back to her hometown. For most of the trip, Franny talked in a scurry of words. “Just think,” she said at one point, “I actually heard the Dalai Lama.” She smiled. “I just love that inner peace.”
Franny saw a large sign on the right. “Food! There’s a rest stop in two miles. How about it?”
Cherie was writing in her notebook.
Cherie looked at Franny, who pointed to the exit. “Want to get some food?”
Dear Jesus: Yes. I'm hungry for that too.