I picked up Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion 1, as required for my Theology class, to begin reading his thoughts of how we know God the creator. As they sometimes do, the book fell open to a page where something had been inserted. A piece of narrow-ruled paper, folded in three, was resting between pages 274 and 275. I pulled it out to examine it. My gaze fell upon the lovely cursive writing indicating to whom the letter was written:
Wendy, my wife
I gasped and gazed at the paper in my hand in disbelief. Was this something I had put in the book? When did I do that? This was the first time I had opened the book. I had only acquired this book from Amazon.com a few weeks earlier. Opening the letter, my eyes immediately looked for the signature. Whom was this letter from?
The answer was Adam. The letter was written August 6, 2002 as an expression of love to his wife. He opened his thoughts with “My darling”. He describes how he misses her, encourages her to read Calvin and shares his prayers for her and his prayer requests of her. Though I felt like I was invading their privacy, I could not put the letter down. It is beautiful.
What are the chances that I should find a letter in Calvin’s Institutes addressed to “Wendy, my wife”? I have only known one or two other Wendys my age. Had the letter been signed Jim, I surely would have cried. As it is, the letter still made me feel sure my husband Jim watches and encourages me from heaven.
I purchased a used copy of the book. Adam’s tiny, precise script notes are in the margins and his full name is written in the inside cover. Looking back at my bill of sale, I believe I know how to get in touch with Wendy. I hope to return the letter to her.