I Don’t Know You, but I Love You

Dear friend,

I see you’ve sent a gift again, as you’ve done anonymously for the last several years. Every time you do, I wonder about you. For reasons known and unknown, you have chosen to remain a mystery. I will never know your name. 

Your generosity reveals more than your anonymity obscures.

In some ways, I know nothing about you. I don’t know where you call home, whose eye color you inherited, what meal makes you feel like a child again. I don’t know what memories play over in your mind as you lie down to sleep, or what dreams visit you again and again. I don’t even know what you look like. 

Yet in other ways, I know much. I know you believe so strongly in the possibility of a more beautiful world that you’re willing to invest in it. I know you’re dissatisfied with the world as it is and unwilling to leave it that way. I know your heart breaks when others suffer, that you refuse to look away from harsh realities. I know you are generous, willing to give of your resources so that others have the opportunity to flourish. 

Your generosity reveals more than your anonymity obscures. 

Can I be honest with you? Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by the world. I’m tempted to despair. I weep at yet another news story about how violence has ripped through a community and I begin to lose hope that peace is even possible. Sometimes, all the chaos feels like too much. But then, I remember you. I think about how you keep showing up, without recognition or praise, and I feel less alone. Being part of this global community of peacemakers with you is what sustains my hope. 

While I cannot write you an email or send a text, while I cannot pick up the phone to express all the ways I’m grateful for who you are, I am here doing what I can: sending this note into the world with the hope that—wherever you are, whoever you are—it reaches you. 

Your identity is unclear. I hope my gratitude is not.