Friday, June 1, 2012

The Letters

My sister has a very special notebook.  It is filled with letters.  Not just any letters, but letters between my grandfather and my grandmother.

After my grandparents had met, both were members of the Salvation Army, he had to return to his parent's farm to take care of his ailing father and step mother.  He and my grandmother were only friends at the time.  The letters tell of their day-to-day activities, sometimes giving vent to frustrations or wishes for things to be different.

As time progresses through the letters, you can also see their relationship progressing.  Slowly, gradually, they are falling in love.  In one of the last letters, my grandfather proposes.  In her next letter she accepts.  The final letters have to do with the arrangements of her transportation to the farm.  Finally, he sends her the money for a ticket and there are no more letters.

I think that my grandparents drew much closer to each other through the letters than they would have if they had actually been in the same city.  How many times do you think they read each letter before the next one arrived?  How often did they think about the other person reading the letter they had sent, what they thought and what they would reply?  Conversations might never be so examined and considered, for they are fleeting, transient, ethereal in nature.  But a letter, ah this is something we can hold, we can fold, we can re-read, we can treasure.

For three years I worked in the computer department of our hospital with the purpose of helping to build one particular computer system.  For the first several months after I arrived, that system was down more than it was up and my main purpose in work could not be performed.  Glen frequently sent me emails -- electronic letters, and I frequently responded.

Many of those emails I have printed, folded and wrapped in ribbon in a special box.  They are as valuable to me as those letters my sister has from my grandparents.  They are tangible tokens of love.

Perhaps that was why it was necessary for the Lord Jesus to return to heaven after His resurrection.  Maybe the Lord knew we would have a greater experience of faith, trust and hope if we had to depend upon His word instead of having Him physically here with us.  As the Scriptures say, "As for God, His way is perfect."

Knowing this, we should take every advantage of those tangible tokens of love we have from our Heavenly Father -- the Scriptures.  We should read and reread those letters to us.  We should contemplate their meaning, their inference in our lives.  We should use them as the basis to anxiously await the day when we will be reunited with that great Love of our lives, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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