R.D.2, Brandon, Wisconsin
Our Country Echoes have a touch of loneliness and sadness about them as my pen tries to form the words for a column. Our nineteen year old John has just entered the Armed Service as so many of our boys do and the house is so empty without him. He has been gone four days and we have no idea where he is. I find it rather hard to be my cheerful self.
Again memories come back of the eldest son who put in his two years in the paratroopers. The thought of your beloved son jumping out of airplanes is far from comforting. We were proud of his bravery, however. There is also a son-in-law who is all Ensign in the Navy right now so we are quite well connected to the Armed Service.
How well I remember the check-out-clerk at our local super-market asking about our two oldest boys a few years ago. When I told her one was in the paratroopers and the other preparing for the ministry she came up with this witty remark. 'Well-I guess they are going to get up there one way or another, aren't they?' I laughed in spite of my heavy heart. She probably knew I needed to laugh.
Our second son is handicapped from having had polio at fourteen but he never wavered from his intention to enter the ministry.
Now we have only two left at home and I am constantly cooking too much. Our big eater is gone. These two can't argue about the extra piece of pie for now there are two left over and they each can have one. It used to be a contest between the three of them so they finally settled on each having it in turn. Sometimes it was hidden in the most bizarre places for they didn't always quite trust each other. They sort of kept a threat over each other but usually played fair;
After one of them is gone how we would welcome their little aggravations back again. Our John had a penchant for leaving every door in the house open after going through it. When he did remember he often looked back in and grinned, saying, 'Ha, ha, I closed it didn't I!' Now I would gladly shout, 'John, close the door', many times a day. I wonder how many of you are familiar with the following poem by William Brightly Rands.
Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore
No doubt you have heard the name before
Was a boy who would not shut the door!
The wind might whistle, the wind might roar,
And teeth be aching, and throats be sore,
But still he would never shut the door.
His father would beg, his mother implore,
'GODFREY GORDON GUSTAVUS GORE
We really do wish you would shut the door!'
Their hands they rung, and their hair they tore;
But Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore
Was deaf as the buoy out at the Nore.
When he walked forth the folks would roar,
'GODFREY GORDON GUSTAVUS GORE
Why don't you think to shut the door?'
They rigged out a shutter with sail and oar,
And threatened to pack off Gustavus Gore
On a voyage of penance to Singapore.
But he begged for mercy and said, No more!
Pray do not send me to Singapore
On a shutter, and then I will shut the door!'
'You will?' said has parents; 'then keep on shore!
But mind you do! for the plaque is sore
On a fellow that never will shut the door,
Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore!'
Well we didn't ship John off to Singapore but he is in a 'familiar to us' boot training camp. We heard from him before I got this typed. Now we are anxiously awaiting his address so we can write.
What a blessing it is to have happy memories of home life after they are gone! What a comfort to follow them with prayer! What a testing to find whether your teaching and the faith you have instilled in them will bear the fruit you are looking for! 'Oh God, give us all that we have need of,' is our prayer.
Yesterday morning our small prayer group met. There were four of us and it crosses three denominational lines. There is a oneness here we sorely have need of. How necessary this is in our troubled days. If we can drop our differences in the cause of the world's need surely God will yet have mercy and save our nation. If we spend our time bickering and pushing our denominationalism in one another's face who can predict the outcome?
If you ladies are Concerned Ladies and you can find even one friend to pray with won't you try this venture of faith? We meet from nine to ten or a bit later on Thursday mornings. Each one comes with the needs in their hearts and a note of praise and adoration for a loving God. World problems are always high on the list and our Beloved Country.
Yesterday there was prayer for our John and I came home lifted in the faith of the Good Shepherd. My six foot, four inch son is His child too and where we can not follow him God is always there. We can trust the 1eading of The Great Eternal One, and so we find a dimension and so we find a new dimension in life and become more nearly 'whole people' than we have been before.
Near us are parents who have part-with two sons. They left the same morning our John went. Will you bear them up before God? We are wondering if the three of them stayed together. Time will tell.
I trust you will forgive me for baring my heart to you all. Nothing light or amusing will come from my pen right now. I must have a little more time before the weaving of life pulls together the threads of our separation. May God's love do the neat and perfect mending.