“LETTERS TO HEAVEN – FOR THE LOVE OF HENRY” By Tony Casson

Dear God,

The gratitude I have for what you have done for me cannot be measured on any human scale. The love you have shown me and the love you have placed in my heart are just a couple of ways in which you have touched and transformed me over the last four years.

Even though I have not “written” to you in a long time, you know that I speak with you daily, you know I humbly thank you constantly, and you know that I look to you for direction and guidance throughout the course of each day.

I have found that many individuals look for miracles as proof of your existence and I want to climb up on a mountain and scream, “Look at me! Look at ME! I AM a miracle!”, for you have truly performed a miracle in transforming the life of this man who was so broken he thought that death was the only way to fix the problem. People I meet and I speak with simply cannot understand the miracle that I AM, but you and I know, and I will live the rest of my life trying to use the miracle that is ME to serve and thank YOU.

In “With Eyes Wide Open”, an article in the pages of these “Chronicles” not too long ago, I tried to share with others the miracle you performed when you showed me how to look at the world through the eyes of my heart. The ability you gave me helped me to see the goodness in the world, but it also enabled me to see, and to feel, the pain of others.

It is with the eyes that YOU opened and with the love that YOU placed in my heart that I come before you now to talk with you about some of your other children: David, Leigh, Tyler, Sam, and little Henry Hayden. As I have read and typed David’s words over the last few days, you have seen and felt the many tears that have fallen from my eyes. This heart that you filled with love has been battered and bruised as the reality that is the life of each and every member of David’s family has become achingly apparent to me and, I hope, to those who have read David’s words.

Those words have painted a picture in my mind that simply will not go away, Lord. It is a picture of a little boy collecting eggs with his father so that he can sell them. I have never seen even a picture of Henry, but it doesn’t matter. The image of a laughing, giggling boy who has refused to accept the fact that he shouldn’t even be ABLE to collect eggs with his father is clearly seen by the eyes of my heart. I can also see the love and pride on David’s face as he watches Henry collecting the money for the eggs from his ‘customers’ and contributing, in his small way, to his family’s well-being.

I recently watched a DVD featuring Louie Giglio in the chapel. Louie brilliantly demonstrated how very tiny this world is in comparison to the rest of this universe that you created. As I watched, I felt very, very small, indeed, but not nearly as small, helpless, and insignificant as the way I feel when I think about how powerless I am to help this man and his family; to help David be returned to fulfill his responsibility to those he loved and those he employed; to help him be reunited with his little Henry so he can be there to complete Henry’s journey home to you.

David says repeatedly in his ‘letter’ that he is a ‘simple man’. David’s sense of personal responsibility for others and his love for his family is such that I believe EVERY man should strive to be THAT ‘simple’.

Our world has become so complicated and so cynical; so skeptical and so legalistic, that David’s SIMPLE, honest explanations carried no weight and mattered not to those who could have produced a JUST outcome for society, for this ‘simple’ man, for little Henry, and the rest of the Hayden family and those employed by David’s company.

Lord, I have shaken David’s hand and I have promised him that I would do whatever I could to help him, and now I turn to YOU. I ask you to help turn David’s precious little egg collector, Henry, into a symbol of the devastation caused by the insanity that has consumed both our society, and our criminal justice system. I ask you to please bring David’s story to the attention of someone who can lift Henry up before David’s jury and tell them, “THIS is who you convicted!”, and hold him up before Judge Moore and say, “THIS is who YOU sentenced!”

When I made my promise to David, I told him that it is important to have faith in YOU God. David is too decent and too respectful to ever denounce, diminish, or denigrate my faith. He knows just how strong my faith is, and he knows the reasons why. But in the depths of his eyes as I made that promise, I saw the question, “How can I?” Please do NOT hold David’s doubt against him, Lord. I know in that heart you filled with your love David is trying to believe. However, when he thinks about his family, who have now lost their home and have moved into an empty house owned by a friend; when he thinks about the people who depended upon him for security for THEIR families; when he thinks about the lives that were destroyed by this injustice – and that is exactly what it is; when he thinks about the eggs that his precious little boy will never collect again – well, Lord, I know that you understand.

We now need another miracle, Lord. We need your awesome power and your incredible love to move whatever mountains need to be moved to fix these broken lives. I ask for this miracle for this ‘simple’ man. I ask for this miracle for all of those whose lives have been left blackened by the federal government’s ‘scorched earth’ policy, and I ask for this miracle for the love of Henry Hayden.

Amen

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