Comfort from a Cardboard Box

0 comments Posted on February 23, 2021

by Dianne Neal Matthews

Glancing out my front window, I saw a UPS truck driving away from my house. I opened the door and dragged the big box inside. Then I sat down on the floor beside it and cried. It wasn’t because someone had sent me a surprise package. It wasn’t because a long-awaited order had finally arrived. The gush of tears was prompted by a few words written with a Sharpie on the box lid: Stay Safe Dianne.

I understood that the UPS driver wrote that message because of the pandemic. He had no way of knowing that I was struggling with some hard things that had nothing to do with a virus. But this anonymous message from a stranger touched me in a way that surprised me.

When I texted my daughter a picture of the box, she pointed out that the driver even spelled my name correctly. I almost teared up again. I’m used to acquaintances, friends, even relatives leaving the second “n” off my name; I don’t think anything of it. Yet this driver took the time to make sure he got my name right.

I kept that box around for a few weeks before using it to haul stuff to Goodwill. But I did keep a photo as a reminder of how a few words from a stranger can lift another person’s spirits, even when they’re written on a cardboard box.

I hope to follow that UPS driver’s example every chance I get.

Dianne Neal Matthews has written, co-written, and contributed to nineteen books. Her daily devotionals include The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion: A 365-Day Journey from Genesis to Revelation (a Selah Award winner). She also writes for websites, blogs, and compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus). To learn more, visit Dianne’s author page on Facebook or


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