Kiss The Baby for Me
Many of Dr. Forrestâ€™s later letters ended with this salutation: kiss the baby for me. He was traveling and rather than spend money to call home, he wrote lettersâ€”letters that talked about how God was using him, but most of all about how much he missed his wife, family, and the college. The above phrase was written as a term of endearment for Kelly and Alice Barnesâ€™s daughter, whom he viewed as a granddaughter. However, there was much more to this â€œfamily man.â€
Once after filling out paperwork for a passport, officials questioned an entry Dr. Forrest had made. It was concerning the number of children he and his wife had. He had simply written the words: an army! And that is the way he viewed usâ€”a familyâ€”his family, and those whom he deeply loved. From the 1930â€™s and beyond so many of his letters to Evelyn Forrest ended with words:
My love to all the family and especially yourself.
Richard and Evelyn Forrest were huge letter writers. They knew exactly how to negotiate a mail system that was far less advanced than the one we have today. Today, ours is quickly becoming a fading afterthought since most of the world now uses email, instant messenger, and text messaging! But they wrote letters. It was nothing unusual for Dr. Forrest to land in a far away city and drop by the local post office to see if a letter or a package was waiting for him. Many times, there was indeed a letter from his wife, who had written in advance sending him an extra ten dollars and a note stating how much she loved him and was praying for him. It was a reminder that she was thinking of him and he was sorely missed.
Both knew the value of words handwritten on paper that had been bought and saved for this very purposeâ€”telling someone â€œI love you and I care about you.â€ While many of their personal letters have been lost with time, a few remain. â€œIâ€˜m feeling pretty well now,â€ wrote Richard in one letter after receiving a package Evelyn had sent to him, â€œexcept my heart aches to be with you.â€
Godâ€™s Word is a love letterâ€”words He has written to us and sent on ahead with the idea of reminding us of His love for us. In Jeremiah 31, He says, â€œI have loved you with an everlasting love [a love that does not fade, cannot be altered, and is not based on performance], therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindnessâ€ (Jeremiah 31:3). We are His familyâ€”His very ownâ€”and His heart aches for us. Perhaps, you are facing something today and you would really enjoy receiving a â€œletter from home.â€ Take a moment to pick up His word, and you will find exactly what you need to continue along your way.
(Taken from the online devotional book Grace in The Wilderness Â© 2007 tfchistory.com)