Willis’ letters are missing from February 22 – March 22, 1946. We will be substituting Sarah’s letters in their place for some of the time and other letters from our archive.
February 24, 1946
Willis, My Darling —
Today has been a very busy one for me, Darling and I am glad it is gone, for the simple reason that we are one day closer together. You know what – I love you more than ever! ( Surprised?) It’s wonderful to know that tomorrow I’ll be loving you, even more, Darling. The day for you to come home can’t come too soon to suit me. Lots of folks have asked about you today too, and that made me glad, for then I can talk about you, than which there is none other that I would rather, about whom, moreover. Abernathy’s, Ben Hardy, Harpers, Viv Schaefer, and several others.
This has been a funny day as far as weather was concerned. It was cloudy when I got up, rather early, and then it started to snow very hard, but it only lasted about 10 minutes and quit. Then the sun came out, and that sequence was repeated all day, only it didn’t snow very much. There was a very strong sharp wind from the west that just went right through you. It is very clear and lovely out tonight. I wonder if it was a clear night for you, Lover. I imagine the sky is beautiful at night over there, with no smoke to blot out or dim the heavens. Darling, it will be so wonderful just to look at God’s handiwork with you again.
As I said, I was up early and reviewed my Sunday school lesson which I did last night. I was down at church early to take care of the library. Not so many kids took books out – most of them don’t get there very early and there isn’t much time for them to take out books. I’ll have to figure out another system, but I don’t know what it will be. Two of my girls were absent, but I got a new girl in, who used to go to North Shore Christian Church. She is very sweet and very polite – she calls me “ma’am,” which is really something in this day and age. We had a review lesson and then I told them the thrilling story of Albert Schweitzer. It was given in the quarterly this week, and there is also a very fine article in the new Reader’s Digest about him. I would like to have the story of his life. It should be an inspiration to young people to consecrate their lives for full-time service. I think we should get more biographies of great Christians, and urge our young people read them. In this movie-mad generation, they need some high ideals held before them, and they surely don’t get it in the films and press. My heart aches for those children. Children today have the jitters – is the tempo at which we live, I’m sure. We’ve lost the art of relaxation and meditation. I know children are naturally active, but just the same, I feel that a lot of it is just tense nerves, caused by the living pace and the jangled nerves of parents and teachers. Of all people, we Christians need to exemplify the peace and serenity of Christ.
Mr. Hatzfeld had the devotional talk in Sunday school today on the parable of the sower and it was very good, only he took 25 minutes instead of the allotted ten. All of which sort of screwed up our lessons. I wish he would have had more sense, frankly. You would think he could hear the children scuffling their feet and losing interest in what he was saying. He means well, but I guess he will always be long-winded. There was quite a crowd in church and Dr. Wilson preached a good sermon. Tonight we had the Northwestern University A Capella choir and they gave a beautiful concert. Some of the numbers were a little long and complicated, but their a cappella work was lovely. I’m glad to have heard them. There were 48 in the group, all in purple and white robes. Dr. Wilson preach on, “What’s the Sense of Being Baptized?” – being just a summary of the reasons, and in no uncertain terms, and he also enumerated the distinctive beliefs of the Baptists. I’m glad he preached that sermon. I had it all in school, but I know most of the folks hadn’t. We’re mostly short on doctrine. There was some very large crowd for an evening service.
Margie had been feeling sickish this morning so she didn’t go to church with Bob, but stayed home and got dinner. We did the dishes and then I sat down and made some phone calls. I got to talk with the mother of one of my girls who is often absent due to not getting up early enough. Her mother sounded sort of ashamed of herself for not getting Mary Beth out, and I tried to impress on her that we need the cooperation of the parents so much. Maybe she will do better next time. I’ve called her several times already. I couldn’t reach my other absentee, so perhaps she is out of town. Then I called Alyce Godelman to check up for sure on the place where she is having the club gals for dinner tomorrow night. We had a nice visit. She asked about you, of course, and says she hopes you will be coming home soon. She is going to be in the city another week and then is going to visit a friend’s brother in Detroit, and then will go to her mother’s again in Pawpaw. They expect to locate in Michigan somewhere. Fred has to open an office in some Michigan city and is investigating as to where he can find office space and a house. He will look in Flint, Grand Rapids, and around there. If they happened to locate in Grand Rapids, maybe we could stay with them if we go to the Northern Baptist Convention – which are two pretty big maybe’s or ifs. Then I called your grandmother and had a nice talk with her. They hadn’t heard from you for a while, but I told them I hadn’t either. Connie is much better since her treatments but still tires easily. The doctor is well pleased with the results of the treatment, but she still has to have a monthly check-up, which is wise. Mae feels much better and her back doesn’t bother her so much either.
I got down to church at 5:00 – Pop drove me down, having nothing else to do. We had four of the kids come to practice for tonight’s program, on displaced people and what the church does for them, and it turned out pretty well. The children were surprisingly reverent and attentive during the program, although they were quite rambunctious before and after it. But I’m so thankful they come – the home life of some of those children is pitiful – one of the little girls was telling us very casually how her father likes a shot of whiskey before he eats his meals, and one of the boys said how they had quite a few friends in a tavern down the street. Those things make my heart sick, and I just pray the little we are able to do with them will have some influence on them for good, and help them to accept Christ as Savior. I think this is having them come an hour early and getting the programs all worked up accomplishes something of what we want – in the first place it gives us a little longer time with them, a few at a time, and they get to enjoy the fellowship, and the little lunch we have afterward, and it all helps. I don’t know how we got started on that system, but it seems to be working. And we still have a long way to go before our programs even approach the ideal. You pray for us, Lover. We had 11 children out tonight – 2 who have been there only once before, and one who has never come before. We also had two visitors from BMTS whom Brownie brought. One of them works with the Intermediate Senior group at the Chinese Church down in Chinatown, and she says one thing about the Chinese young people is they are quiet and courteous. And no one can tell me that home training doesn’t make a difference. There is so much to do isn’t there, Darling? We have the greatest job in the world.
After we got home, I doodled around cutting up some seed catalogs for the lovely flower pictures that were in it. We also took some more pictures of me, but I think only one will turn out, on account of Pop got mixed up on how to take a time exposure. But maybe one will be good. Hope so.
Lover, it is getting very late and tomorrow will be a full day for little me. How I would love to talk with you about a thousand things, Darling. There is surely getting to be a lot bottled up inside me waiting for you to come home. I’ll have to let it out gradually or there’ll be an explosion, I’m afraid. God bless and use you, Beloved, and remember, I love you more than ever forever.
Your’s only and always in Him,