Since all-night talker Larry King underwent heart bypass surgery, a number of people have written letters of encouragement and sent him gifts. None has affected him as much as one he received Monday. In a package was a leather Bible with King's name embossed in gold on the cover. Enclosed was the following letter, dated Dec. 31:

"Dear Larry, I'm so glad to hear that everything went well with your surgery. I want you to know that God was watching over you every minute and even though I know you question that, I also know that one day it will be revealed to you. My prayer is that you remain open and God will touch your life as He has mine. Once I was a disbeliever. When I could not fill my life with basketball, I would simply substitute sex, liquid drugs or material things to feed my internal shell-like appearance. I was never satisfied. I have finally realized after 40 years that Jesus Christ is in me. He will reveal his truth to you Larry because He lives. -- Pete Maravich 'Pistol Pete' "

The day after King received that Bible, the 40-year-old Maravich, the greatest scorer in college basketball history, died of a heart attack while playing in a pickup basketball game.

Out and About

Hospital Report: Former Texas senator Ralph Yarborough, one of the champions of liberal causes during his years in politics, was released Tuesday from Seton Medical Center in Austin, 17 days after undergoing a valve replacement and quadruple heart bypass surgery. Yarborough has practiced law in Austin since being defeated by Sen. Lloyd Bentsen in a hard-fought 1970 Democratic primary ... Rep. James R. Olin is scheduled to undergo prostate surgery tomorrow at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. A spokesman for the Virginia Democrat said the operation is routine and that Olin will be hospitalized about a week ...

One last word on entertainer Grace Jones and her battle with the nightclub Tracks, where she performed only three songs on the first night of her two-night engagement and walked out the next. She called yesterday to say the trouble wasn't her fault and that she hadn't been paid at all. She even called in the police, who came to the Park Terrace Hotel, where she was staying. Third District officer Michael Groves said yesterday that the dispute between Jones and her promoter didn't "require police intervention," so no report was filed. Groves did lend Jones $60 when the entertainer said she had no money to feed herself and her 8-year-old son. He said he felt sorry for her. Jones said she is on the way to Paris to make a new album ...

Joan Kron, editor-in-chief of Avenue, that magazine for the truly wealthy and snobbish, says one of the major items of advice for 1988 is that men who wear beards do so at their own risk. For example, fewer than 10 chief executive officers on the latest Fortune 500 list have beards. "Judge Bork had a beard, and we all know what happened to him" ...