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This is a story of a hard-working farmer Lencho. He is expecting a good harvest this year if it rains. The rain does come bringing brief happiness. However, a hailstorm follows the rain destroying all his crops. Being deeply hurt, he looks toward God. Having an unshaken faith in God he writes a letter to Him demanding one hundred pesos. This amount is sufficient enough to sow his crop again. He posts it. The postman has a hearty laugh when he reads it and shows it to the postmaster. The postmaster, being a generous man, decides to help Lencho. He gives a part of his salary and collects money from the employees. He sends seventy pesos to Lencho. Lencho’s happiness was momentary when he counts the money. God can’t deceive him, it is the work of post office employees. He writes another letter to God asking Him not to send the remaining 30 pesos by mail as post office employees are a ‘bunch of crooks’.

The lesson shows three things. It shows Lencho’s firm faith in God. His faith is rewarded through the helpers are human beings. Secondly, it shows the utter innocence of the farmer, Lencho. Thirdly, the lesson gives a message that sometimes even your generosity is not recognised. You may not get any credit for your generosity and kindness. But on the other hand, you may be misunderstood as a ‘bunch of crooks’.


  1. Lencho was a farmer.
  2. His house was the only house in the valley and on the top of a hill.
  3. Lencho’s fields needed rain for a good harvest.
  4. He looked expectantly at the sky and it did rain at last.
  5. The drops of rain were like the coins for him.
  6. But his happiness was short-lived as very large hailstones began to fall after the rain.
  7. The hailstones destroyed all the leaves on the trees, plants and flowers.
  8. There would be no crop that year.
  9. There was a single hope: help from God.
  10. On the following Sunday, he wrote a letter to God.
  11. He needed a hundred pesos to sow his fields again and to live until the new crop coming.
  12. He wrote `To God’ on the envelope and put the letter into the mailbox.
  13. The postman laughed heartily and took it to the postmaster.
  14. The postmaster laughed too but soon he became serious.
  15. He decided to reply to the letter and help Lencho.
  16. He collected seventy pesos only from his employees and himself contributed a part of his salary.
  17. He put the money in an envelope and posted it to Lencho.
  18. Lencho had an unbroken faith in God and he was not surprised when he received the money.
  19. His happiness was turned into anger as there were thirty pesos short of the money.
  20. Lencho could never believe that God could ever deceive him.
  21. So, he wrote another letter to God reminding Him that he received only 70 pesos sent by Him.
  22. He asked God not to send the rest of 30 pesos through the mail as the post office employees were a ‘bunch of crooks’.


Lencho’s crops were ready for harvest. All it needed was a good downpour before harvesting. These fully grown crops could be sold in the market for good money. That is why he compared the raindrops to ‘new coins’. The big drops were as good as receiving ten cent pieces and the little ones five.

The rain was pouring down and Lencho was satisfied. But suddenly, a strong wind began to blow and very large hailstones began to fall along with the rain. The hail rained on the valley for an hour, because of which Lencho’s fields were destroyed. There was not a single leaf left on the trees and the flowers were gone from the plants. The corn was completely destroyed.

When the hail stopped, Lencho’s soul was filled with sadness. He looked around at his fields and said that even a plague of locusts would have left more than what was left after the hailstorm. He said that they would have no corn that year and they would go hungry. He was full of sorrow.

Lencho and his entire family had faith in God. His only hope was that God would help him. He had been instructed that God’s eyes saw everything, even what is deep in one’s conscience. Therefore, he wrote a letter to God expressing his need for a hundred pesos so that he could sow his field again and live until the crop grew again. He then put the letter in an envelope, addressed the envelope to God, placed a stamp on it and dropped it in the mail box.

When the postmaster first saw the letter he broke out laughing but a few minutes later turned serious and admired the faith the man had in God. In order to keep the writer’s faith in God alive, the postmaster decided to answer the letter. When he read that Lencho needed hundred pesos, he asked for money from his employees. He himself gave a part of his salary. He could not gather the entire amount, but managed to send Lencho a little more than half the amount. He put the money in an envelope addressed to Lencho and signed it ‘God’ to ensure that Lencho’s faith was not shaken.

Lencho was not at all surprised to see the letter from God with money inside it. His confidence and faith in God was such that he had expected that reply from God.

Lencho got angry when he counted the money. There were only seventy pesos in the  envelope. He was confident that God could neither make a mistake nor deny him what he had requested. Therefore, he concluded that the post office employees must have taken the remaining thirty pesos.

Lencho did not try to find out who had sent the money to him. This is because he had great confidence in God and never suspected that it could be someone else other than God who would send him the money. His faith in God was so strong that he believed that God had sent him the money.

Lencho thought that the post office employees had taken the rest of the money. He wrote another letter to God but asked Him not to reply through mail as he did not trust the post office employees.

The irony of the situation was that the postmaster and the employees whom he called a “bunch of crooks” and suspected of taking some of the money were the same people who had contributed and sent him the money in the first place.


  • The conflict between humans and nature is illustrated by the destruction of Lencho’s crops by the hailstorm. Lencho had worked really hard on his fields and the harvest was really important for him. He required the money to feed his family. For this he required nature-in the form of the rain! However, nature turned violent. The rains arrived but were accompanied by a hailstorm, which destroyed the crops.

  • The story also illustrates another conflict, between humans themselves. The postmaster, along with the help of the other post office employees, sent Lencho the money that they could manage to collect. They were not related to Lencho in any manner. It was an act of kindness and selflessness on their part. Even though they did a good deed, Lencho blamed them for taking away some amount of money. He called them “a bunch of crooks”. This shows that man does not have faith in his fellow humans, thereby giving rise to this conflict.


Gregorio López Fuentes was a Mexican novelist. He often wrote based on experience, and was inspired by interactions with various people, including farmers and laborers. He is well known for his humor while writing, as well as the way he captures elements of Mexico and the Mexican lifestyle. His writing is also realistic– this can especially be seen in A Letter to God. Despite the witty plot twist at the end and the overall amusing finish, one cannot deny the truth he presents, especially about the reality of a farmer’s life, misunderstandings and misconceptions. A Letter to God portrays how one situation can look to two different people. This story is written in third-person, and Fuentes employs dialogue, vivid description- especially in the scene describing the rain, hail and wrath of nature- and symbolism. The main themes are faith, mother nature, intent and perspective. In addition, it presents the situations and difficulties which many farmers face.

The story opens with a description. This is a clever way to set the scene- from just three lines, the reader is now able to picture the location, bringing them closer to the story. As the main character, Lencho, watches the sky, he can presumably see dark clouds approaching, which is how he tells his wife that they will have rain. Her response- “Yes, God willing”– already shows the family’s faith in God. The line “The older boys were working in the field, while the smaller ones were playing near the house” also conveys a warm aura of a hard-working family.

As the rain and hail begins, Fuentes uses some beautiful imagery which aligns with the overall theme of mother nature. Some examples of imagery are: “the field of ripe corn with its flowers, draped in a curtain of rain.” and the hailstones resembling “new silver coins” or “frozen pearls.”- the latter of which is also a metaphor. Further, when the rain begins, he tells his wife ‘‘These aren’t raindrops falling from the sky, they are new coins. The big drops are ten cent pieces and the little ones are fives.’’ Here, the rain symbolizes money. With the rainwater, the plants will be nourished and the cornfield will grow well, which in turn will give the family a huge profit. The bigger the water drops are, the more it will aid the crops, hence the bigger drops represent more money. When the hail starts, Lencho describes it as “new silver coins”– once again, this aspect of nature symbolizes money, but in a contradictory way from the rain drops. While the rain represented good fortune and promise of monetary return, the hailstones represent misfortune and loss, as they will destroy the cornfields. This great dependency on a powerful and unpredictable force like nature for their livelihood is a difficult reality of farmers which Fuentes has subtly portrayed.

Despite this terrible loss and sorrow the family faced- along with the possibility of starving for a year- they did not give up complete hope because of their faith in God, which is one of the overarching themes of the story. “But in the hearts of all who lived in that solitary house in the middle of the valley, there was a single hope: help from God.” His faith was so strong that he believed God would receive his letter and send him money. Interestingly, in a way, he may have been right. While God may not directly appear and respond with the 100 pesos, it is a mysterious way of the universe which leads to the postmasters gathering money for Lencho. Therefore, it was an indirect facilitation. Another element of this theme is the postmasters’ reactions- “What faith! I wish I had the faith of the man who wrote this letter.” Though they laugh at the situation as a whole, they cannot help but admire Lencho’s faith- the reason they open the envelope in the first place is because they want to attempt writing a response, so as not to shake Lencho’s trust in God.

When the postmaster collects as much money as he can, we see the theme of intent. He had a very good heart and intention with his action- “he stuck to his resolution: he asked for money from his employees, he himself gave part of his salary, and several friends of his were obliged to give something ‘for an act of charity’.” The second theme is perspective– when the postman writes “God” on the envelope and hands it to Lencho, there is content at having done a good deed- “It was the postman himself who handed the letter to him while the postmaster, experiencing the contentment of a man who has performed a good deed, looked on from his office.” From the postmaster’s perspective, he has helped someone in need with no expectation of reciprocity. He looks at it as a happy memory.

Meanwhile, Lencho was angry because there was less than the requested amount. Readers may feel that he is being ungrateful, but on the contrary, he simply misunderstood the situation. He is angry not because of the fact that there is less money, but what he thinks is the reason for there being less money. “God could not have made a mistake, nor could he have denied Lencho what he had requested.”- this shows that Lencho believes that God definitely received his message. It confuses him to see only 70 pesos because it is impossible for the all-knowing to have misunderstood his request. His belief in God is so great that he is certain God sent 100 pesos, which means, according to him, the only possible explanation is that the envelope has been tampered with. This is the second perspective. From one end, the postmaster watches with pride and contentment at a job well done, and from the other end Lencho looks on with anger.

“Of the money that I asked for, only seventy pesos reached me. Send me the rest, since I need it very much. But don’t send it to me through the mail because the post office employees are a bunch of crooks

In this humour twist, Lencho thinks that out of the 100 pesos sent by God, the post office staff had stolen 30. Now we understand why Lencho was angry– he was not ungrateful, but rather furious at the thought that his money from God had been stolen. We can see this in the way he writes “only seventy reached me” rather than “you only sent seventy.” The letter hence symbolizes faith. Fuentes ends the story in this irony– the content postmaster who tried to do a good deed; and Lencho, with his strong faith, who completely misunderstood the situation and expresses his anger and distrust in the post office that tried to help him

  1. Where was Lencho’s house situated? Why did he sit seeing the sky?
  2. Why did Lencho say the raindrops were like new coins?
  3. What were Lencho’s feelings when the hailstorm stopped?
  4. Why was Lencho angry when he received the letter?
  5. What did the postmaster do to keep the faith of Lencho on God?
  6. How did Lencho’s hope change to despair?
  7. Why did Lencho write a letter to God asking for money?
  8. Why did Lencho show no surprise on seeing the money inside the envelope?
  9. The postmaster represents the people who still believe in helping others. Justify the statement.
  10. Lencho addresses the post office employees as a ‘bunch of crooks’?
  11. There are two kinds of conflicts in the story: between humans and nature, and between humans themselves. How are these conflicts illustrated?
  12. The end of the story is ironical. Justify the statement.
  1. Ans: Lencho's house was situated on the crest of a low hill in the valley. The whole day he sat seeing the sky because he knew his fields needed downpour or at least a shower, so he was waiting to see the signs of rain.
  2. Ans: Lencho said the raindrops were like new coins because his corn really needed rain to be a good harvest. Lencho's crops were ready for harvest. However, they required a good downpour before harvesting. After a downpour, he could sell the harvest and get more money which in turn enriches his lifestyle.
  3. Ans: When the hail stopped, Lencho's soul was filled with sadness. He looked around at his fields and said that even a plague of locusts would have left more than what was left after the hailstorm. He was very upset and worried thinking what will he eat now. He could sense his future dark where he won't be able to feed his family in the year ahead.
  4. Ans: Lencho became angry when he received the letter because he was only given 70 pesos when he had asked for 100 pesos. He thought that god would not deny him his wish and hence concluded that someone at the post office must have stolen the money before delivering it to him.
  5. Ans: The postmaker was deeply moved by lencho's faith in god. He didn't want to disillusion this faith. So,he decided to collect the money and also asked his colleagues to contribute so that he can send it to Lencho. He himself gave a part of his salary. He signed it 'God' so that Lencho's faith would not get shaken.
  6. Ans: Lencho hoped for rains as the corn fields needed rain shower for irrigation. He referred to the rain drops as coins. To his biggest misfortune, hailstones came down instead of rain water which would destroy the crops utterly. After raining for an hour, as Lencho feared, the hailstorm destroyed the whole corn harvest. His hope turned into despair as he knew he would have to stay hungry for a year.
  7. Ans: Being a firm believer of God, Lencho wrote a letter to God. He wrote the letter to God as he thought that he would be the only one to help him in his bad times. He wrote a letter addressing to God to send him 100 pesos so that he and his family can survive in such a difficult situation.
  8. Ans: Lencho was a poor, stupid and naive farmer who had been told that no one dies of hunger and God takes care of everything. So, he wrote a letter to g=God explaining his quagmire and was waiting for God's response. He did not get surprised at all because he had immense faith and confidence that God would reply him and send his help.
  9. Ans: The postmaster was a generous, kind helpful, amiable and god-fearing person. He received a letter from Lencho in which he was asking God for 100 Pesos to sow the field again. This made the postmaster show his sympathy towards Lencho. So, he gave up a part of his salary to help Lencho and even made his colleagues help as well. He sent the collected money along with a reply. He did so in order to restore man's faith in God.
  10. Ans: Lencho in his letter had asked God to send him hundred pesos but when he opened the letter, he found only seventy pesos. His faith in God was such that he wrote a letter again blaming the employees of the post office for robbing the remaining thirty pesos. He did not realise that the money was not sent by God. The employees of the postal department were not crooks but they had in fact collected the money to give Lencho and help him out.
  11. Ans: There are certainly two sorts of conflicts within the story. The conflict between humans and nature is illustrated by the destruction of Lencho’s crop by the hailstorm. Lencho was expecting good rainfall to ensure a good harvest, which was the sole hope he had for his earning. He worked very hard to feed his family, but nature turned violent and destroyed everything. The story also illustrates another conflict, between humans themselves. When Lencho demanded money from God, the postmaster and therefore the other employees of the post office sent him some money, albeit they didn’t know Lencho. However, Lencho accused them of stealing some amount of the cash . He called them “a bunch of crooks”. This shows that man doesn't have faith in another man, thereby giving rise to the present conflict.
  12. Ans: ‘A letter to God’ is a story of extreme faith in god. The writer had tried to depict the faith of a poor and simple farmer in god. Lencho was an honest and  hard working farmer. Once there was a hailstorm. It destroyed his crop completely. He asked God to send him hundred pesos for the survival of his family. The postmaster saw the letter. He decided to help Lencho. He collected some money. He put it inside the envelope. When Lencho came to the post office to check his mail, the post office people gave him the envelope. Lencho opened the envelope, took out the money and counted it. He found that it was seventy pesos only. He wrote another letter to God. He asked God to send him the rest amount. But he wanted God not to send the money through the mail. He considered them a bunch of crooks who had stolen thirty pesos from the hundred pesos sent by God. The irony is that human beings hardly have faith in humanity though it was the humanity that saved Lencho from hunger and misfortune.
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