—A Story of Teenage Love!DFO 13335/1/82
1. MOTHER & I WERE HOLDING A MEETING IN JOHN R. RICHIE'S "CHURCH OF THE OPEN BIBLE", DES MOINES, IOWA one Summer when it was terribly hot. John R. Richie, by the way, was the brother or cousin of Raymond T. Richie, & it was a Pentecostal Church where they believed in the baptism of the Spirit, healing, etc.
2. AND THERE WAS THIS BEAUTIFUL YOUNG GIRL THERE WHO WAS REALLY FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, wonderfully spiritual, spoke in tongues, really flipped out in the Spirit & also played the piano! I flipped over her! And of course, she was quite taken with me‚ a handsome young singer evangelist! My Mother even wanted me to meet her because she'd gone to the altar & seemed to be so sweet & crying in the Spirit & talking in tongues, & my Mother was conscious of the fact that I was shopping for a wife, & she was shopping for somebody too. I'd just lost both Kemper girls—I'd turned down Dolores for them & then lost them—so I was really temporarily out of women, although I was still writing to a few girls back East.
3. SO WE SORT OF FELL IN LOVE! And of course the closest I ever came to her was holding her hand & kissing her on the forehead. I was quite conservative & prudish in those days, but she was real sweet & we went to the amusement park & we held hands & walked around & things like that. It was quite a serious date for me in those days!
4. SO THE SAD DAY CAME, OF COURSE, THAT THE SAILOR WITH ONE IN EVERY PORT HAD TO LEAVE & I kissed her goodbye & she cried a little bit & we prayed & I left. But I kept up a correspondence with her for quite a long time till finally she wrote me that she'd met this other boy, George Pickle!—In fact, that he'd come around at a church party passing out pickles & refreshments & he'd asked her if she'd like a pickle & she said, "Oh yes, of course! I love pickles! I've never turned down a pickle!"—Ha! And they promptly fell in love & were planning to get married.
5. SO SHE WROTE TO ME & TOLD ME THE SAD NEWS THAT SHE LOVED ME & ALL THAT, BUT SHE'D FOUND SOMEONE ELSE. Well, I was heartbroken, of course, but I hadn't even seen her for three years so I couldn't be too heartbroken. So I wrote her my last farewell letter & committed her to the Lord & told her how much I loved her, but it really was better for her to have someone who was there all the time than somebody who was gone all the time. It was a beautiful spiritual letter all about our love in the Lord & how good it was she'd found someone else & all that. And not to worry, I was sure I'd find someone.
6. WELL‚ YOU TALK ABOUT COINCIDENCES, OR MIRACLES! In Monterey, California where I was attending my last year of high school, there was another girl, we were both seniors & she was of a prominent local family & an outstanding school leader. We had already met & she didn't impress me much, but she had already sort of taken a liking to me & seemed to always be around nearby somewhere wanting to talk.
7. IT'S KIND OF LIKE A LOT OF GIRLS USED TO DO, THEY ACTUALLY FELL IN LOVE WITH MY BROTHER, but since they couldn't have him, he was married, then they ran around after me! He was much bigger & huskier & handsomer & more talented & more popular, the new teacher at the school, & I was the new student, so she was quite interested.
8. SO ONE DAY SHE CAME TO ME ALL MOONY-EYED WITH ACTUAL TEARS IN HER EYES & SAID: "OH DAVID‚ I HAVE JUST READ THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LETTER I HAVE EVER READ IN MY WHOLE LIFE, & you just must be the most wonderful boy in the whole World!" (Maria: I agree!) So I was a little bit flustered & embarrassed & couldn't understand & I said, "What in the World are you talking about?"
9. SHE SAID, "IT'S REALLY AMAZING, IT'S A MIRACLE! IT MUST BE A MIRACLE OF GOD! I'm a good Catholic & I believe in miracles & I think it's a miracle of God! Because I had a good friend who came out here & visited me once upon a time from Des Moines, Iowa & she & I have corresponded over the years since then & recently she sent me this letter that her ex-boyfriend had sent her in farewell, & it was from you, your farewell letter to Ruth Light‚ my old girlfriend! It's just the most absolutely beautiful thing I have ever read in my whole life & is so gorgeous!"
10. BY THIS TIME TEARS WERE STREAMING DOWN HER FACE & SHE WAS READY TO MELT & FALL INTO MY ARMS, she was so absolutely overwhelmed with love! And I'm sure I must have blushed & been a little embarrassed. I think I took her hand & I patted it & said, "Well, I'm so sorry I made you cry!" "Oh‚" she said, "I'm crying because I'm so happy & it's so wonderful that I had a chance to read this letter & to meet you & to think I would even meet you, the writer of this letter!" She was just absolutely flipped out!
11. AND I SAID, "WELL, THAT'S REALLY NICE & THAT CERTAINLY WAS UNUSUAL, it must've been a miracle!"—& I guess it really was! "It certainly was unusual that we should meet & you should know Ruth & that she should send you my letter." Ruth didn't even know I was there! Think of that! She'd just sent my letter to this girlfriend of hers as a testimony & I think as a witness. She was probably trying to witness to her because she was a Catholic. "Oh!" she said, "It's just beautiful!"
12. I THINK IT WAS BETWEEN CLASSES OR JUST AFTER SCHOOL OR SOMETHING & I was very busy trying to make up months of work I'd missed & had to go home with my brother who lived miles away. She said, "Oh! It's just wonderful! I'm so thankful I've gotten to meet you & you're just wonderful!"—& she was just mooning away! And I said, "Yes, it is wonderful & I'm so glad to have gotten to know you too, maybe we can talk about it later sometime." "Oh!" she said, "Yes, would you? Could we get together later & talk about it?" I said, "Well, yes‚ of course. We'll try to find some time to do it."
13. SO BOOM!—THE NEXT DAY I GET WORD FROM MY BROTHER HE GOT A NOTE FROM HER saying‚ "Dear Mr. So-&-So, would you please tell your brother that I want him to meet my parents & they have consented to have him for dinner this Friday night & would he please attempt to come." I think she was one of my brother's students‚ she wasn't in any of my classes I recall, & she was kind of using him to put the pressure on me.
14. SO HE SAID, "DAVE, WELL YOU KNOW, SHE'S A VERY OUTSTANDING STUDENT FROM A PROMINENT FAMILY HERE & YOU COULD HARDLY REFUSE." And I said‚ "Well, you know, she's really not my type. I'm kind of fond of this other little girl"—who I was sort of eyeing & with whom I later got together a little bit & had a few dates & I used to write to, but anyway, that passed away.
15. HE SAID, "DAVE‚ YOU COULD HARDLY REFUSE! In fact, I think it would be a very interesting experience for you! They're a very fine family & it's quite an honour to be invited to be one of their guests in their lovely home." I said, "Okay." You know me, I was very shy & bashful & I didn't really want to go, but I just couldn't refuse. He said, "Okay, I'll tell her you'll come."
16. SO HE DROVE ME THERE THAT FOLLOWING FRIDAY NIGHT & DROPPED ME OFF. I think it was about seven or eight o'clock they were going to have their dinner, & I walked in & here was this beautiful home & this gorgeous table set with silver & candles & formal dinner & lovely people &, oh me, I'd hardly even been around such rich people before! And although my Mother had been rich & reared me to know how to behave, I was very shy & bashful. And boy, I think walking up those steps by myself‚ leaving my brother, was one of the toughest things I ever had to do!—Ha!
17. I WALKED IN &, OH, SHE GREETED ME WARMLY AT THE DOOR, IN FACT‚ SHE'D BEEN WAITING! She threw the door open & greeted me before I'd even gotten to it & knocked! I think she actually threw her arms around me & hugged me & kissed me on the cheek, she was so warm & affectionate—& I was so dumbfounded! Her folks were standing a little behind her & sort of embarrassed at this perfect stranger, smiled sort of embarrassedly & shook hands & greeted me warmly & welcomed me in & we sat down for a few minutes in the living room while the cook & maid were busy getting the table ready for us to sit down & eat.
18. WE JUST CHATTED ABOUT THIS & THAT & THE WEATHER & SCHOOL & WHATNOT until we moved to the table & had dinner. Ever since I was a teenager I don't think my digestion ever was very good, I usually got indigestion & gas, & I can imagine I probably didn't do too well because I was so conscious of all these strange people & having to eat in front of them.
19. BUT THEY TALKED & SHE WAS THAT BUBBLY GUSHY TYPE! And oh, she was just overflowing with love & happiness & good news & talking about all the wonderful things & what a miracle it was we'd met & she'd told her folks all about me & the letter & Ruth Light—I think she'd even let them read the letter or something—& they were really quite amazed‚ you know, at such a young boy. And of course parents were always looking for nice husbands for their young girls about to graduate from high school too.
20. SO WE HAD A NICE VISIT IN THE LIVING ROOM AFTER DINNER WITH HER PARENTS, & the whole idea was to meet her parents, I presume, & a good excuse to make the date. My brother was to come by for me at a certain time so he came & honked, & I think he came in & chatted a little bit because they already knew him, & then we said goodnight. I remember she held my hand & looked longingly into my eyes & I knew what it was all about but I didn't quite have the same feelings!—Ha! That type of big raw-boned, husky, mannish, red-headed athletic type really didn't quite appeal to me. She must've been twice as heavy as I was & almost twice as big!
21. BUT WE SAID GOODBYE & ACTUALLY I GOT SO BUSY IN SCHOOL FROM THEN ON I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO MAKE DATES OR ANYTHING. I don't remember actually ever having another date with her, except as the Senior Class we went on a Senior Day trip & she was always hovering around me & talking to me along with some others. And then we had a Senior Night party & she was there & tried to sit by me.
22. THEN THERE WAS THE SENIOR PROM DANCE to which in those days, of course, I wouldn't go because I didn't believe in dancing. The churches had taught me that that was a Worldly pleasure & you weren't supposed to participate. Besides, I didn't know how to dance & I didn't know what this huge big royal banquet was they were going to have for the Seniors. I shied away from all that kind of stuff anyhow at the least excuse I had. My brother said, "Well, it's all paid for anyhow, why don't you go?" I said, "Well, I can't." I used the excuse, "I can't dance & she'll want me to dance & I hate to admit I don't know how." I said, "Besides, I've got too much to do‚ I'm going to stay home & study."—Which I did.
23. WELL, I DO REMEMBER AT THE ACTUAL GRADUATION CEREMONY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTY GOT UP & said, "Now, because of the very high record of David So-&-so, he had the highest grades in our history & did a full year's work in only seven months, he normally would & should've received this honour of giving the valedictorian speech." My brother had already warned me that I might get chosen.
24. "BUT BECAUSE THE RULES OF THE SCHOOL & OF RESIDENCY say you must have been a student at this school for at least one full year‚ & sad to say he came three months late, therefore we could not rightly make him valedictorian. But we wish to commend him & give him this honour of recognition that he would have been if he had been here longer. However, Robert McMenamin of one of our outstanding families here will now give the valedictorian speech."—And he went on about him a little bit & his record‚ etc.
25. SO I EXCUSED MY WAY OUT OF THE PROM, & OF COURSE THEN THERE WAS GRADUATION & everything & everybody was so busy I hardly ever even saw her again. Then immediately after graduation my Mother invited me to go camping—all the family together & something my brother looked forward to—up at Yosemite for a month camping in tents, my brother, his wife, my Mother & Dad & I, etc. So we left there immediately afterward.
26. I REMEMBER SHE WANTED MY ADDRESS TO WRITE TO ME, one of the last things the last time I saw her, & sure enough, letters started coming from her after I had graduated & we'd been on our vacation. That was the month in which I had that terrifying experience in the woods up in Yosemite on top of the mountains when I was 19! (ML #B)
27. WE CORRESPONDED AWHILE & I WITNESSED THROUGH THE LETTERS & SHE RAVED ON & ON! She professed that she had received Jesus & she did believe & she'd really believed in Him all her life & really felt she had received Him at her confirmation class in the Catholic Church & all that. I think I was a good witnesser in the letters & I think she really meant it‚ that she really had received the Lord, & she went on about what a tremendous influence I'd been in her life & how it had been a change & a turning point in her whole life & that she planned to live for the Lord if she possibly could somehow.
28. I DON'T RECALL HOW I FINALLY SIGNED OFF since I had so many girls to write to & I felt like that one was sort of a closed book. She couldn't play the piano, she could high jump, run & hurl discus & all other kinds of sports but nothing I could use in evangelistic work! Ha! So that was about the end of that. It was really very remarkable, amazing, & of course, not a coincidence! It was obviously of the Lord that it happened so I could be a good witness to her.
29. AND I THINK I WAS PROBABLY A BETTER WITNESS TO HER THAN ALL THE PEOPLE IN THAT WHOLE CLASS. I did more to witness to her & win her than anybody else. But I was quite a testimony to the class, too, at least I thought so at the time, & they did remark about it: "It's amazing how dedicated & religious Dave is," etc. Even some of the students came to my brother afterwards & said:
30. "DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAVID DID? He said he couldn't go to the prom & all but he would go out with us on a sort of a pre-Prom party. And Bob wanted us to go to this nightclub where they had liquor & dancing"—we were all nearly 18 or 19 then—"& Bob & some of the rest of us ordered beer & wine. And you know, Dave wouldn't order a thing! And then when the music began & they started to get up & dance he said that he didn't believe in drinking & dancing & that this wasn't the kind of a place that he liked to be in! He was very sorry, thanks a lot, but he'd have to excuse himself & go home!"
31. THEY ALL JUST SAT THERE STUNNED, practically wide–eyed, dumbfounded & amazed that there was such a person still living in this modern World, a young high school student in such a big Worldly rich high school who wouldn't even take a drink or dance! In those days that was part of my religion, of course, & I didn't think that was right. I tried to be very polite & said I was very sorry, but I was really beginning to get under terrible conviction—the right word is condemnation—because I didn't think I ought to be there & participating in all that without any objection or anything, because I felt I was being a poor testimony.
32. SO I TOLD THEM: "YOU KNOW, I'M A CHRISTIAN"—& I kind of laughed—"I'm kind of narrow-minded & I just don't like to be in a place like this & I don't believe in drinking, etc." And Bob who was the host‚ the head of the class, said, "Oh! Well, I understand‚ Dave, that's OK! That's OK!" And he looked around at the rest of them like he was going to rebuke anybody that made any crack!
33. HE SAID, "EVERY GUY'S GOT HIS OWN BELIEFS! YOU'VE GOT YOUR RELIGION‚ & GOOD FOR YOU FOR STICKIN' UP FOR IT!" And he shook hands with me & said, "Good night & it's been really great knowing you!" And a lot of them shook hands & told me goodbye & I walked out & walked all the way home because my brother hadn't expected me to come home so soon! It was about three miles from Monterey to Carmel & I walked all the way home!
34. AND NEXT DAY IT WAS ALL OVER SCHOOL! They kept comin' to my brother & saying, "Do you know what Dave did last night? Do you know? Boy, he must really be religious! He got up & walked out of the nightclub because he said he wouldn't drink & he didn't believe in that kind of an atmosphere & he didn't like it."
35. SO IT WAS REALLY A TESTIMONY in a way, as a young high school student, & it impressed them! I mean, that was religion to them‚ you know‚ if you wouldn't do things. The most strict & narrow religions, like the Catholics, for example, their whole religious life was composed of the things they didn't do & wouldn't do, although Catholics did allow dancing & drinking.
36. BUT HERE WAS A GUY THAT WOULDN'T EVEN DANCE OR DRINK‚ HE WAS SO RELIGIOUS! That was even more than the Catholics, & that was quite impressive! Bob McMenamin was also a Catholic, & what was the name of that other beautiful girl that I liked? Well, of course everybody was in love with her & she was pretty wild! She was a Catholic & this one girl athlete was Catholic. It seemed like they were mostly Catholics in that school & nearly all the leaders were Catholics. So it really made quite an impression on them!
37. AND SEVERAL OF THE STUDENTS WROTE ME LATER—I guess they got my name & address from her—& I got a letter from Bob McMenamin. Oh, & the School Superintendent, the father of this beautiful girl that I liked—& everybody else liked too, of course—he wrote me a personal letter saying that my example & my short time I'd been in his school had made a tremendous impression upon him & the students, etc.‚ & he wanted to thank me for having been such a—he didn't say witness—but such a fine shining example to the student body, & that he was proud to have my brother there as one of his teachers & was thankful I'd come. I don't know whether it was politics for my brother or what, but I guess he really meant it.
38. AND FINALLY, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, I GOT A LETTER FROM ONE OF THE OTHER MOST OUTSTANDING STUDENTS. He was a Jewish boy, brilliant, & he was third in line. I was the top student, Bob McMenamin was next, & this boy Lippman or Leichstein, I know his name began with an "L" but I've forgotten it now—but anyway, he wrote me a sad letter. I guess he wrote me because he remembered my religiousness, etc.
39. HE TOLD ME HOW HE HAD BEEN SURFING OFF THE BEACH AT CARMEL & GOT HIT BY A WAVE IN SUCH A WAY THAT IT BROKE HIS BACK & that he was paralysed from the waist down. I think he said that my brother had told him that he understood my Mother had had a similar experience, had her back broken & that she had been paralysed too‚ & he knew I would understand & sympathise.
40. I THINK HE WAS LOOKING FOR SOME COMFORT, you know, & I believe he was really looking for an answer because he was paralysed & bedfast, or sometimes in a wheelchair like my Mother. I have a feeling maybe my brother was too chicken to witness to him himself so he sicced him on me, knowing what I would do, of course!
41. BECAUSE, OF COURSE, I IMMEDIATELY WROTE HIM A LETTER OF COMFORT & SENT HIM MOTHER'S BOOK! (Maria: She had her books written that early?) Oh yes, yes, yes! When we were in California she had had her books for several years then‚ two or three years at least. When I was 17 or 18, even 16 maybe, we were with L.P. Lehman in West Virginia & Pennsylvania, & he's the one who got her to write'm. So she had her books published, & part of the time I was kept busy packaging & mailing out books to people who were writing in all the time for them.
42. SO I SLAPPED ONE IN AN ENVELOPE, WROTE A LETTER & wrote in the book & dedicated it to him, etc., & I witnessed to him, of course. I don't know just how much effect it had on him because, of course, he was Jewish, but he did write back & thanked me & told me‚ "Thanks so much for your sympathy & thank you for that wonderful book you sent, it was very interesting" & that sort of thing.
43. MY BROTHER THEN WROTE ME LATER & said‚ "So-&-so was very impressed by your letter & Mother's book & he said it's been a very great encouragement & a real blessing to him." So whether he ever accepted the Lord or not, I don't know, because I never heard, but at least it was a witness to him & it resulted in a good effect on him.
44. SO THE LORD USED IT & USED EVEN THAT BRIEF SEVEN MONTHS THAT I SPENT AT MONTEREY UNION HIGH SCHOOL & MADE THAT HIGH RECORD. Oh, the Superintendent said to this huge mob of people—mind you, the school had about 3‚000 students & all their parents in this huge auditorium, there must've been 5,000 people there—he kept on raving about me: "This boy has made the highest record in the entire history of this school in only seven short months," etc., & he was apologising!
45. THEY MADE ME SIT UP ON THE PLATFORM ALONG WITH THE REST OF THEM & I felt so sorry for Bob McMenamin because he was then like, well, sour grapes, second choice! But he got up & he really gave a terrific speech! I can't remember what it was about, but it was something moralistic. So those months I spent there were really fruitful & it was amazing what the Lord did through that short time & as a result of that. PG!
46. HOW'D I GET TO TELLING YOU THAT, ANYWAY? How'd that happen? (Maria: We were talking about the love letter that I'd written to one man that I gave to another man!) Oh yes! And I told you how this love letter I'd written to another girl was such a witness to another girl! Isn't that amazing?
47. SO BELOVED‚ YOU NEVER KNOW HOW FAR YOUR LOVE LETTERS ARE GOING TO GO or how far your witness is going to go or how much effect it's having! You may not even know it or ever hear about it or see it‚ but it could be going a lot further than you think, & probably is, & there may be more people talking about it & discussing it & being impressed by it than you realise!
48. SO DON'T EVER MINIMISE THE POWER OF THE WORD & WITNESSING! Even if the one that you're talking to or writing to doesn't seem to be very responsive‚ sometimes they can pass it onto somebody else who they think might be interested & who is impressed & responsive! A little bit of love can go a long long way!
49. SO PTL, THAT'S THE STORY OF MY FAMOUS LOVE LETTER & I was reminded about it by dear Maria's beautiful love letter here to one of her fish, how her fish never got it, but she finally wound up giving it to another man since her fish scotched off & skipped out on her, stood her up! She gave it to the guy she got stuck with instead‚ who turned out to be the one who was the most responsive & who really did the most in return, in a way, or showed the most interest & whom she FFed in a hotel there. (Maria: But I sent it to the first guy later!)
50. BUT SHE DID SEND IT TO THE OTHER FELLOW WHO SKIPPED OUT, she got his name & address & sent it to him anyway! But the one she FFed & went to bed with at the hotel is the one who got to read it first because the other fellow had left her high & dry & she got left with his friend, but he turned out to be the one who really was God's man for the night. PTL!
51. SO YOU NEVER KNOW HOW FAR IT WILL GO & WHAT IT'LL DO IF YOU'LL JUST BE A FAITHFUL WITNESS FOR THE LORD—whatever, however, whenever—& God will see to it that if you cast your bread on the waters it will not return unto you void but it'll accomplish the purpose whereunto He has sent it. His Word shall not return unto Him void. (Ecc.11:1; Is.55:11)
52. SO WHATEVER YOUR WITNESS MAY BE, THAT'S ONE THING ABOUT WITNESSING, IT NEVER FAILS! Even if you don't seem to win them, who knows what & who it may be having an effect on? And even if you don't seem to be having any effect or results, you don't know‚ only God knows! Because witnessing never fails, just like Love never fails, & He says His Word will never return unto Him void! It'll always accomplish the purpose whereunto He has sent it.—
53. EVEN IF IT CONDEMNS THEM & DAMNS THEM FOR THEIR REJECTION, IT HAS STILL ACCOMPLISHED HIS PURPOSE! We are ministers, as the Apostle says, both of salvation as well as damnation, & God has got to give them their chance whether they accept it or not, whether they respond or not, whether they receive Christ or not. God in His Love is at least faithfully giving them their chance‚ & if they muff it, then that's their fault. Their blood's not on your hands, you've delivered your soul. (2Co.2:16; Ez.3:17-19)
54. SO YOU'VE NO IDEA HOW FAR YOUR LOVE & LITNESSING & WITNESSING CAN GO! Just a little love can go a long long way, much further than you would have ever dreamed, if you will just be faithful in your love for the Lord & others & your faithful witnessing to them of the Love of Jesus Christ‚ in Jesus' name!
55. GBY & MAY HE MAKE YOU & KEEP YOU A VERY FAITHFUL WITNESS FOR HIM so He can say to you one day soon: "Well done thou good & faithful witness! Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" (Mt.25:23) Hallelujah! TYJ! PTL? Amen. GBY & I hope that little story will be an encouragement for you. And if you haven't read it—I'm sure perhaps you have read it by this time—read Maria's own testimony about her latest love letter in her latest FF Adventure! (No.1084) May you have many! GBYAMYABIJN!—IJN, Amen!