This morning, I re-read a letter that was written to me when I graduated high school. Though I knew exactly what it said, I still smiled when I got to the final five words that have impacted my life so greatly.

The letter is from my old piano teacher. Old as in, I took lessons when I was only ten, but also old as in, she was in her mid-eighties when she started teaching me. I adored her. In fact, the only reason I kept up with piano for so long was because I wanted an excuse to see her.

So there I was, reading this letter that detailed her memories of what a joy it was to teach me (even though I must have been the most unskilled student she ever had). In the letter, she talks about her life and how much God has blessed her. It’s one of those letters you would expect to end with the words “God has been so good.” But it’s a different five words that flowed from Alberta’s pen.

Jesus has been so real.

I’ve let those words carry me through the times that Jesus felt distant. The times that I’ve found it difficult to see what God was doing. And I’ve let them sing to my spirit in the times that I stand in awe and wonder of the greatness of my God. And I hope that when I’ve lived ninety plus years, they’ll be the first words that come to mind when I think back over my life.

Jesus is real. Wonderfully, powerfully, inexplicably, you-wouldn’t-believe-it  real.

And I don’t know where Alberta is now – whether she’s a ninety-five-year-old woman bouncing around a nursing home or if she’s dancing with that very real God of hers – but I know that her words live on in my heart as I pray they’ll live in yours.

May you be reminded of just how real Jesus is today.

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