Chuck Terrill: Read any love letters lately?
St. Valentineís Day is nearly here.
Like most married men, I will select a card for my wife. I used to send her love letters. But after 48 years of marriage, a card may have to do.†
How long has it been since you received a love letter, or sent one? I have an old Whitmanís Chocolate Sampler box that my father gave to my mother in the late 1940s. Though the chocolates are long gone, the box is full of memories. It now contains 30 letters my dad sent to my mom while he was away in the Army. They were just newlyweds at the time.†
I know the letters were valuable to her; she saved them. I can visualize her taking them out to read them occasionally, when she was older and lonely.†
Even though those letters have been in my possession for more than 20 years, I havenít read any of them. I have often considered reading them.†
Why donít I? I am fearful of invading my motherís privacy. Because I love my own wife deeply, I realize that there might be something intimate in those letters. My homesick father could have written something meant for Momís eyes only. I donĎt want to intrude on that, so those letters will never be read by me.†
It is unsettling to realize my wife has a box full of similar letters, written by me. They came from our dating years and early marriage, and I donít remember what is in them, though I am positive they would embarrass me if I were to read them again. Those letters and poems will someday pass into the hands of our children. I have the feeling our kids will experience the same hesitation I do when it comes to reading their fatherís love letters.†
I have no hesitation when it comes to reading the love letters of my heavenly father, though. I know he wants me to. He wrote those letters specifically for me. He wants to maintain a deep level of intimacy with me. He loves me and doesnít care who knows it. He doesnít fear public displays of appropriate affection.†
What God has done in giving me a Bible is very similar to what happened in the life of a New Jersey boy. He waited expectantly every year for the mailman to deliver a special letter to him on his birthday. When his earthly father was dying of a terminal disease, he knew the youngster would not have the benefit of his personal guidance or help as he grew into manhood. So, he wrote him a letter for each year, leaving instructions for them to be sent so that they would arrive annually on the proper date. A final envelope containing words of fatherly direction and advice was also given to the son on his wedding day.†
Our heavenly father knew that we would need to hear from him. He loves us so much he sent us some valuable letters. Have you read any of Godís love letters lately? I suggest you start with the Gospel of John.
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.