Writing Letters on Sundays
It used to be a feature of a Sunday afternoon that a letter would be written to missionaries, absent friends, or children away in college. This was the practice of Dr. Cornelius Van Til of Westminster Theological Seminary, especially writing to the mother of Bob Den Dulk whose godliness and wisdom he greatly admired. Then there was Brian the former college room mate of Keith Underhill who helped him to come to know God. While Keith was in Kenya, he wrote to him every Sunday for a good many years.
One would think that with the ease of email people would be writing letters more often, especially instead of having the hassle of finding paper, addressing envelopes, buying stamps, and walking to a post box or post office to send it. One would expect there would be an abundance of correspondence in these days of ours, with communication readily available, but one suspects that this is not so. Women seem much better correspondents than men. As an enthusiastic letter-writer, I believe that one of the ways we can love our neighbours as ourselves is by writing letters to them and expressing our affection for them.
These thoughts arose after reading in the May edition of the Gospel Standard, a letter written one Sunday afternoon. This is what I read:
Long Wittenham, near Abingdon, Berkshire, November 6th., 1932.
Dear Mr. Lewin,
Several times since you were kind enough to visit me at the Radium Institute I have felt I should like to write you a few lines.
I was so disappointed that day that the nurse sent you away so abruptly after your taking the trouble to come and see me. That is more than six months ago, and I have been brought through much since then. Through mercy I am now so far restored as to be able to take my usual place in the home, I am indeed a wonder unto many, and can I not add, ‘But thou are my strong refuge’? (Psa. 71:7).
I was very ill for two months after my return, suffering agonising pain (as the result of the radium treatment) till my doctor put me onto morphia which I continued for six weeks. But worse than the pain was the darkness of mind for the most part, when I verily felt it was a time of Satan’s power. When in my terrible pains he would say, ‘Curse God, and die.’ But there was One stronger than he who was still sitting by as a Refiner.
One morning it was a sweet word of comfort:
‘Not all the pains that e’er I bore
Shall spoil my future peace.
For death and hell can do no more
Than what my Father please.’
I find that God has granted me a fresh lease of life. I know not for how long, but this I know, it is a way of tribulation, there are heavy, cutting trials in my lot that cause me more pain than my bodily affliction, yet, as one hymn we sang in chapel today said,
‘And all the trials here we see
Will make us long to reign with Thee.’
What a wonder of wonders if such a sin-polluted creature as myself should ever stand at his right hand! Sure enough it will be of his grace alone.
I hope dear Mrs. Lewin is somewhat better in health than she often is, also yourself, and that you both, also realise the blessing of God which maketh rich, and that He is with you in your going out and in your coming in amongst the people of God . . .
Our little cause is still kept going. We are favoured with a comfortable little congregation, but some of us went to see more, even the Lord at work in our midst.
With Christian regards to you and Mrs. Lewin.
I remain, yours sincerely,
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