“I Would Love a Book Like That”

This July 4th [this post originally posted July 5, 2019] the fireworks are gradually starting to die down, and my cat is finally starting to look relaxed again. Another Independence Day draws to a close. I find myself reflecting on my relationship with this great country, the United States. I have lived here for about forty-seven years in total. I have been a citizen for over twenty-three years. I have traveled all over the country. A lot to reflect on. A lot has happened since I first landed in America in September of 1968.

I ate my last breakfast on the ship. Over the last nine days, it had become a temporary home as I sailed from Southampton, England to New York. As I ate, I looked out over the water to the Statue of Liberty. What an amazing sight!

The whole process of disembarkation went quickly–something of a blur looking back almost fifty-one years later. One thing that I remember well is the customs officer, a really nice and kindly gentleman. After admonishing me for having a loose razor in my suitcase–it could have hurt him–he came across my copy of Emanuel Swedenborg’s Heaven & Hell. He picked it up and said, “I would love a book like that.” I told him that I could send him a copy if he gave me his name and address.

So it was that a few days after I arrived at my destination, I managed to get another copy, and I mailed it to the customs officer in New York. I never received a reply, but I like to think he was blessed by the Lord through that book. I also like to think that one day I will meet him again in heaven.