This letter should have been written yesterday. Things are happening so fast these days, and I have so many things on my mind, that I completely over-looked the fact this letter was due.
And here it is, the 31st of July. For me it is a very important day — a day of mixed emotions. May I be real personal in this letter? I had intended to write what I am about to say as a Personal from the Editor column for The PLAIN TRUTH. But our production manager just told me The PLAIN TRUTH is going to press — already late — and they already have an editorial for this number. So I'll say briefly a few of the things that were uppermost on my mind in this letter.
Today is a day I had been looking forward to. It was to be the 50th wedding anniversary of Mrs. Armstrong and me. But she is no longer here to share it with me.
I could not help, this morning, thinking back fifty years ago today. I was living in Chicago. I had been engaged to marry a girl from Iowa. That very morning I disappointed her. I arrived late at the railroad depot to meet her. And there she was, a girl who had never before seen such a big city, alone in the metropolis of Chicago!
But right there one thing happened which was one of the REASONS why we shared fifty HAPPY years together, lacking three-and-a-half months! We were really in love. And love is UNSELFISH. Love is an OUTGOING CONCERN. This time it was I who had been negligent. This time it was SHE who had the outgoing concern. Of course there have been plenty of occasions when it was my turn to be considerate.
Many young ladies would have ended the engagement then and there. They would have become angry, resentful, unforgiving. Because most young brides are in love, most assuredly — but with their own selves! Not with the man they are marrying. And most young bridegrooms also are in love — with their own precious selves!
As soon as the other becomes inconsiderate, or does something, or says something, that "steps on the other's toes," the "injured" one flies into a rage, or becomes sullen and resentful. One thing leads to another, and ultimately to an unhappy marriage — or divorce!
But this young lady forgave me, and later that same day she became Mrs. Herbert W. Armstrong.
This is not to say that in the virtual fifty years of happy marriage there were never any rough spots, misunderstandings, or hurt feelings. There always are, in every marriage. And unless each one is mindful of that fact — mindful that each is HUMAN and imperfect — and has enough love for the other to forgive and forget, it would be better to call the whole thing off before the wedding.
Why do most marriages fall? Two reasons. They are not really in love, though of course they think they are. They do not, each, have as much love and concern for the other, as for SELF. They WANT the other for what they feel the other means to THEM. They are on the GETTING side, not the GIVING! And when everything ceases to come their way, and the time comes to GIVE, they don't give. And the second reason is part of the first — CARNALITY!! And carnality is vanity, lust, envy and greed.
A year ago I did write an editorial for The PLAIN TRUTH on our 49th anniversary. I may yet, later today, write the one I had in mind. If so it will have to appear in the September number.
But since I am a day late with this letter, I must make it brief — and urgent. GOD'S WORK is leaping forward as never before. We are still awaiting the final settlement of the Jerusalem situation. The Israelis still are in possession of Jerusalem Radio. We still have hopes it will be restored to Jordan so that The WORLD TOMORROW may carry out its contract with that government for every-night broadcasting FROM JERUSALEM. Meanwhile, we ARE broadcasting every night on Radio Amman, both medium and short wave. The program is heard, and MUCH listened to by the Jews of the nation they call Israel (actually they are JUDAH!).
Many other new stations have opened to us in the past month — both in the United States, and other parts of the world. Even in these summer months GOD'S WORK IS GROWING — EXPANDING — as it must!
And its financial need continues great. We can never let down, or ease up on our efforts. It is not easy for me, personally, to carry on without the loving HELP, encouragement and companionship of the wife God gave me fifty years ago today. But GOD'S WORK is FIRST. It is more important than life itself! And so, with GOD'S HELP, I press on, day by day, fighting the battle with more determination than ever.
Unless all who, with me, are Co-Workers with CHRIST do the same, my personal efforts would be useless. Christ is the LIVING Christ. I have to remember, dally, that, though the wife I loved is no longer living, the CHRIST I LOVE IS THE LIVING CHRIST, so that I may boldly say, "The Lord is my Helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13:6). I try to keep in closer, more intimate contact with Him, who is my living, supernatural, divine Help! And I do need your earnest and constant persevering prayers! THANK YOU for them!
Let me say once again that the loans of larger sums from those who have such sums and feel unable, at this time, to GIVE them to God's Work, are most helpful. Such funds accomplish GREAT GOOD, in the Work which the living CHRIST is directing, guiding, blessing! So MUCH more good than lying idle, or in a bank.
Again I am enclosing a stamped return envelope — and if you add one to make it airmail, that will speed it back to us faster.
THANK YOU — I DO remember you constantly in my prayers!