I grew up in an old hip-roofed stone farmhouse that my father had retrofitted on the inside with innovations like wood paneling in the living room. Evidently one day during this process the drill slipped, because one of the panels sported a little, perfectly round hole in the middle, just low enough for a small child to insert things into. I remember, one day, scribbling out messages on tiny pieces of paper, then rolling up the papers into scrolls and pushing them into the hole. I'm not sure why, or who I thought would find them and respond. But it seemed like a good idea at the time.
I thought about that the other day, after sending an e-mail to the lay ministry program informing them that I have a work conflict with our next scheduled retreat and won't be able to attend, and asking if I could nonetheless receive copies of any written materials given out at that retreat. Because, like the hole in the wall of my childhood home, my communications with this program seem to wind up in the same dark limbo of non-response. Not even a form-letter "Thank you for your input."
Yesterday I checked my e-mail. Wow! Not one, but two messages from the program. Maybe I was wrong, I thought. Maybe I'd get an actual personal e-mail from a Power That Be. I eagerly opened the letters.
They were group e-mails informing our class of another upcoming event; one a duplicate, sent by mistake.