In the short story "A Letter to God" by Gregorio López y Fuentes , a farmer named Lencho sees his hopes shattered when a seemingly beneficent rainfall turns into hail and destroys all his crops. In despair that he will be unable to provide for his wife and children, he...
In the short story "A Letter to God" by Gregorio López y Fuentes, a farmer named Lencho sees his hopes shattered when a seemingly beneficent rainfall turns into hail and destroys all his crops. In despair that he will be unable to provide for his wife and children, he writes a letter to God requesting 100 pesos so that he can buy new seed, in full faith that God will answer. He addresses the envelope "To God," puts a stamp on it, and takes it down to the post office to mail.
At first the postal employees take the letter as a joke, but then the postmaster decides to answer the letter by raising money for Lencho. However, he is only able to raise sixty pesos instead of the full 100. He puts it in an envelope and addresses it to Lencho from God. When Lencho opens the letter, he is furious, thinking that the postal workers have robbed him of forty pesos, and asks God to send the rest directly to him and not via the post office.
The main theme in this story is faith, specifically the ability of faith to empower people in times of adversity. After the hailstorm, Lencho imagines his family spending the next year in great hunger. In desperation, he remembers the God he has been introduced to in church on Sundays and decides to call on him, trusting (or having faith) that God will answer. This faith lifts him from despair to hope.
After Lencho drops off his note at the post office, the postmaster reads it and decides to answer. A skeptic might say that God is not answering the letter, but a human is; but a person of faith would say that God is using the postmaster as an instrument to send his answer.
Even Lencho's furious reaction when he sees that the amount of money is incorrect shows his simple but profound faith. He cannot conceive of the idea that people might have been responsible for collecting the money. He is confident that God raised the whole amount but that some of it was stolen. He writes to God as a confidante and as a trusted friend who will make things fully right. It is humorous, ironic, and somewhat tragic that Lencho accuses the very people who have helped him.