So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away;
see, everything has become new! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
In this letter to Grace, George mentions that the next day will be his 29th birthday. I smile as I read that he hopes he is “growing old gracefully.” I did not have the joyful privilege of knowing him at age 29 but I knew and loved him for the first 23 years of my young life until he passed at the age of 96. And yes, Grandad, you did grow old gracefully!
There is nothing significant in this letter – unless you carefully listen to the voice of the one who is writing. It is the voice of one who is waiting; who has been waiting for months for his Girl to return to him. It is a lonesome voice – one that tells of filling time and space and longing with trips to the post office (even when he is off work from that very place!) and trips outside of town to take photos, which seems to be a hobby to keep him preoccupied.
From my estimate, George and Grace have been together as a couple for around three years and I think it will still be another two years before they finally get married. George’s father had died, leaving two daughters and a wife at home. George was committed to working and supporting his mother and sisters until they were able to support themselves. So, not only was George living in a time of having to practice patience and perseverance, but Grace had to do that as well. But this would be a time of learning and developing patience and grace and understanding that would last a lifetime – that would be needed for a future marriage full of love and also trials.
When we are going through difficult times it might help us if we consider it a time when God is molding and shaping us for the future. What we are today is partly the result of what we have been and experienced in the past.
May you yield to the Creator as He shapes you into a strong and beautiful future being!
July 25th, ‘09
Miss Grace Verink,
Dear Girl: I got your nice letter today, but the present you spoke of hasn’t yet arrived. It was very kind and thoughtful for you to remember me, and I thank you my dear, very much indeed. Tomorrow I’ll be twenty-nine. Isn’t it awful? I hope I am growing old gracefully.
I don’t know where your letter is. I mailed it all right. Oh well there wasn’t much in it any way. But I expect they break the monotony of your life on the “plains in the west.”
It has been cool enough down here for you to talk, and you could have me to talk to at night.
I got a post card from Gussie. (George’s sister). She said she was lots better and was going to town to mail the card. I was certainly glad to hear it.
I went out west of here to the pasture near the old fort and took some pictures. I don’t think they will amount to much though.
I wanted the sun to shine and it went under a big cloud and stayed there until I got back and now it is shining in on me.
I am all curiosity to know what that is you sent me. I hope it will come by tonight.
How would you like to have a page full of kisses in blank verse?
Here they are ………………….. (a long blank space here)
I am ever yours, sweetheart,