My Grandma Ethel and Grandpa Willie Dudley Turner went through some tough times. In Arkansas, they had a family of eight to feed during the Great Depression. My grandfather was injured in a work related accident and it took nearly a year until his patched-up health returned, a shoulder and arm were never the same.
Later, Grandpa Willie worked in New Mexico while Grandma Ethel cloth-diapered babies and kept children in school. Long distance marriage isn’t good, but it’s especially tough when the woman has six children to console in their dad’s necessary absence.
Like all of us, this couple dealt with disappointments, from tiny to terrible. Yet, I witnessed in them a determined spirit that inspires me to step over life-puddles threatening to dampen my path.
Recently, my Aunt Margaret, my grandparent’s eldest daughter, sent me a letter Grandpa had written to his family while he worked in New Mexico. Along with the letter postmarked “May 1934, Portales N. Mex,” she also sent a picture of Grandpa perched atop a Southwest rocky crag.
I own things worth more monetarily but these items rate high on my sentimental scale. The letter shows the heart of my grandfather, a young dad at that time, longing to be home with his family.
He wrote two pages. One, to his wife, is lettered in pencil on the front and back. He wrote how much he missed her and the kids. He ended it “from your Willie, love to all. Kiss the kids for me.”
On the second page, he wrote individual notes to each of his children. To his oldest son, he encouraged him to be a good boy and told him about the wolves howling in the mountains at night. He even wrote a note to the toddler who couldn’t read and thanked the children for their letters. He told his only daughter to “kiss the baby for me.”
His loneliness is evident, his longing for what he could not have seeps through the sentences. He wrote about wanting a job closer to home. Disappointment seems to be a regular side dish of any life. It can arrive in demitasse cups or by the platter load.
In a few days, nearly half our nation will be disappointed because their preferred presidential candidate lost in the presidential election. But others will celebrate the win of their choice for president. For all, perhaps words from a Supreme Ruler will offer assurance.
Through inspired writers, God often gave periodical reports about nations—good deeds, wrong paths, or if they were off track. Like a father writing home about wolves and sending pictures of craggy mountains, God also reminds us of his role as a father to all and to the leaders of the earth. “For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise…. For the kings of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted” (Psalm 47:7, 9).
Be assured, whatever camp you are in after Election Day, our new King will have the best King seeing after him.