No. 1029



Have you ever written a letter to someone about a very serious matter, but for some reason you never sent it? While you think about it, I would like to share a few thoughts you may find interesting, and they may even bring back some good memories.
First, I would like to tell you about a letter that did get sent and resulted in a very humorous outcome. It seems just before our nation got involved in World War II there was a young couple here in America whose names were John Atkins and Molly Brown, and they planned to be married. However, before a wedding could be planned and carried out, John got called by the U.S. Army to serve in Europe to help turn back the Germans, who were threatening to take over the whole continent.
Knowing the chances were good that John would not return, the couple decided to put the wedding off until after the war. One day, after a few months, John got a “Dear John” letter from Molly, saying she had found someone else and was sorry to have to end their relationship. She also asked him to return her picture. Quite naturally, John was heartbroken.
When some of his buddies found out about the “Dear John” letter, they decided to take matters into their own hands. The first thing they did was to collect photos of every young woman they could find -- wives, sisters and girlfriends. Then one of the men, who happened to be a gifted writer, composed the following letter. It read, “Dear Miss Brown, it was good to get your form letter. For the life of me, I can’t remember which one you are. Would you please look through the enclosed pictures, take yours out, and return the rest to me? Thanks, PFC John Atkins.”
Has anything come to your mind yet about your own letters that might never have been sent? Please allow me to tell you a true story about a friend of mine who had a very unusual experience, wrote a letter, but never mailed it. Back in 1965, the “Truth or Consequences” television program, which was hosted by Bob Barker, decided to hold a contest to find a beauty queen who would help promote the show. The prizes for the winner were a fur coat, a new car and spending two weeks in Truth or Consequences, N.M., and given the royal treatment.
This friend’s father encouraged her to enter the contest, so she found a good photo, wrote some things about herself, and sent it off. A few days later she got a phone call saying she was one of the finalists, and they would make a decision in the next 24 hours. Rather than staying home by the phone, she went on to an event in Little Rock. This made her father very unhappy because he just knew she would win. It turns out she did not win, but she told me she was better looking than the winner, and she did get a Polaroid camera. To make a long story short, she wrote a letter of thanks to Bob Barker but never mailed it. However, she still has the letter and may still mail it after all these years.
Now, back to my earlier question, have you ever written a letter to someone about a serious matter, but never mailed it? How many people have written a letter of resignation, placed it in a drawer, only to have conditions improve, and they never mailed it? How many times have we been angry with someone, written them a letter to get it off of our chest, but never put a stamp on it and put it in the mail?
I am confident there are many, many other examples where letters have been written, giving us time to mentally and emotionally adjust before we realize the folly of it. The Bible says in Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.” To be sure, this is better counsel than anything I could ever give you.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)