A personal letter is often the most delicate expression of a person’s heart. We can tell a friend what we cannot tell anyone else. The opportunity to write about our failures, our anguish, hopes and dreams can heal our troubled souls and set us free. This is especially true when we sense the gentleness and the unconditional love of Jesus in our friend.
Over the years I have always had such a friend—a rare gift and a special grace. This gentle and forgiving person is my mother. From her shoebox filled with my letters to her, I have selected a few that were engraved upon her heart in a special way. As I re-read these letters, I can see that my search for sanity has stretched across many years of my life. The first two letters date back to my tour of duty in the army, almost thirty years ago. The others are more recent letters. As you will be able to note, my search for sanity has been and still is in process.
I also have a shoebox filled with letters from my mother. I will share one of these with you and can thereby introduce my special friend to you. The letter was written in the sunset hours of ”Mutti’s” life—as I often called my mother. It is the endearing word for mother in German. The letters that date back to 1953 were written while I was serving a two-year tour of duty in the United States Army.
July 29, 1953
My dear Mother, my dear Father, and my dear Brother,
Only we humans draw boundaries and make differences. But in God there exists no boundary. There is no such thing as this is “Germany,” and that is “France,” or “This is home, and across the river there is a strange land.” Our notions that one city is nicer than the next will make us suffer at one time or another and also divide us. We must build the city of peace in our hearts. That will be our greatest and most sure source of happiness. I felt this morning that no matter if bullets will fly and the earth will shake beneath our feet, that the city of peace will be unshaken. The philosophers say that knowledge is brought forth from the inside. That city of peace which will spread across the world can only be built from the inside to the outside. All other types of cities will eventually crumble to pieces.
At the moment I am at a processing camp in Zweibruecken. This morning I was again anxiously, wondering where I might be sent and just what I would be doing soon. The little voice inside once more reminded me silently, “You have your orders already. Serve God wherever you may be.” Human orders are so unsteady. They change so quickly, but God’s orders hold true for all eternity. I received the military orders a little later. I will be stationed near Nuerenberg. But even human orders have their source in God. And if we have learned to hear His voice, we will be able to hear it in all voices. I do not know yet when I will have the chance to see our relatives here. I am waiting and trying to wait patiently for the day God sees fitting. I am so close to them and yet as far away as you are. I passed through Bremen with the train; I was a few miles from Ruth. We also passed through Worms. Life is such an interesting drama. The little voice reminds me again and again to be patient. As surely as day follows night, so will we be brought back again to those we love. But only when we love all, will we be together with everyone always.
The lunch hour has slipped in-between this sentence and the previous one. But something else has slipped in-between that is more wonderful than the lunch hour. Joy from God has slipped into my heart. I have talked to a friend about what I have written. And I have gotten an inkling of the joy which exists in knowing these things with your heart.
There is no such thing as German, French or American soil. It is all God’s soil. There is no real ruler or president of any land. God is the only One who may be called King. The earth is God’s kingdom, and rich and poor alike are His children and servants. I am just now looking out of the window into His beautiful Kingdom. In the valley below a peaceful town has grown out of the earth. The red-tiled roofs separate the village from the surrounding meadows, fields and forest. The hills remind me of the calm waves of the ocean. The land seems to be so well cared for and heavily laden with fruit. I have the feeling that many people here are working in close unity with God. Although there are army camps in the area, the city of peace is slowly and silently growing in the hearts of men.
The other day the little voice whispered something to me. It was about saints. Saints are the most wonderful people, who live on earth. But you know how I think saints feel? Saints consider themselves greater sinners than any other class of people. Once they have felt God’s greatness, they become aware of their own littleness. How can we ever think of raising our voice, when we are just a little wave dancing on the great ocean? If every blade of grass would raise its voice like we humans do, we would have quite some noise on the earth.
On the day the train brought us from Bremerhaven to Zweibruecken, I was looking at newly planted apple trees. Those people that plant trees that will only bear fruit after a few years have quite a bit of faith already. Farmers have quite a bit of faith. They trust in the rain, the sun, the soil and the seed. The merchants who trade in stores have not much faith usually. Many keep a close watch over their riches. They lend away their wealth when there is some gain in sight. Those that have great faith do good deeds for others with never a thought of gain in mind. They know the law. They know that God and eternity and eternal life is real.
I have so much room again since I started a new page that I will tell you a little story. It is the story of the cake that was made holy. In Germany German men and women do the kitchen chores in the American camps. It gives me great joy to speak to the workers. I have the feeling that they are all my brothers, mothers, sisters and fathers. I do not feel strange talking to anyone. They all have so much less than I do in material ways. I shared a little of my great bounty with one of the mothers working in the kitchen. She felt such joy just because of the little I had done that she wanted to do something for me. She offered to bring me anything my heart would desire. Finally I settled for a cake. It turned out to be a Topf Kuchen (Bundt Cake) baked with the true love of a mother. When I came to the cafeteria the following morning, a cake had been created for me. The lady gave me the cake with all her love. She gave me more than I had ever given. She showed me a picture of her mother and little daughter. I think she told me that she had lost two boys, but yet her face was calm and her eyes were filled with love. When we parted, I knew that another eternal bridge was built. With the cake in my hand and happiness in my heart, I returned to my barracks.
Next to my bed there was La Lou’s bed. He is a new brother, yet I feel that I have known him for a long time. He was sitting on his bed when I came in with the cake. I wanted to share with him the cake. He did not want any cake. Suddenly I grew eager to give him the whole cake. I remembered that a few days ago he had his twenty-fourth birthday. I said, “La Lou, I want you to have this cake; it is your birthday cake.” I had told him the story of its birth. He received the gift. It was the only visible gift he had received. The cake built a strong bond between us. But in the end he kept only half the cake. He took half the cake to France. I sneaked a little note into the cake package. Remember, Mother, like the notes you slipped into my lunch bag? I did this because I remembered the joy that your notes brought me. I wrote the note on the card, which you sent me. The card has a little verse on it that starts like this, “Give me good digestion, Lord, and something to digest.” It seems to me now that I saved the card especially for my brother La Lou. On paper the story has come to an end, but in spirit it will continue to live on.
I imagine that the new address I have now I will keep for a while. May God bless you all
September 15, 1953
My dear Mother and my dear Brother,
I will sit down and write you a little more about what has gone on in my life. I need to fill in some of the loopholes. It is a little harder to put my thoughts on paper with a typewriter than by longhand, but I will try my best. I can only tell you a little in a letter about what has gone through my mind during the last few weeks. What I have experienced will fill many pages maybe one day.
Through my thirst for truth and my eating habits I had become very sensitive to good and pure things, but also to dark and evil forces. I really don’t like to say evil forces. I would rather say, to the two poles of life. How much I was imagining and how much was real, I could not tell apart anymore during the last few weeks. Forces, for example, which can make a drunkard out of a person, were raging in me. Oh, it is so hard to put these experiences on paper. These forces grew so strong that I was becoming afraid of them. But still I wanted to experience them in myself in order to know what goes on in other people. I had also told myself that I was as bad as the worst criminal, because my eyes were desiring a pear on someone else’s tree. I could not walk with pleasure through the fields anymore, because my eyes constantly desired the fruit I saw on different trees. My stomach could be full, but still, I would so desire what did not belong to me that eyes began to hurt whenever I opened them to look at something.
I was imagining that people were thinking something bad about me. My whole being was seized by great depression which I could not shake off. I would have to wait till it would pass in some mysterious way. The depression came more and more frequently. Only seldom did I experience spiritual renewal. I was at the mercy of these alternating forces. My stomach felt as if it were tied in knots. Often I craved for some chocolate, but I always said no. Some people told me that I should stop worrying, others told me to go to the movies. I had told no one what was going on inside of me. Each day this voice inside of me became more real and persistent; and I could not ignore it. If it had told me to run away from the army, I would have done it. I became physically very exhausted. It was hard for me to walk up the steps. I felt like lying down for a long time. I thought I needed a rest. There was no joy for me in living. Almost all my concentration and memory had disappeared. I made many mistakes in the easiest work and was very slow. I had a difficult time keeping myself awake. I had lost interest in life. It had become too difficult, and I did not see how I could manage much longer. I did not feel like doing anything anymore. That voice inside had exhausted me.
Then one day I felt that if I continued to listen to the voice, I would not live much longer or would become insane. Therefore I began to do just the opposite of the things the voice told me to do. I made myself read a book, although I fell asleep almost every few lines. I tried to become interested in the story on the screen. I went to the carnival. I made myself run up the stairs even though I was tired. I made myself smile even tough I did not feel like smiling at all. I bought myself chocolate. I had a craving for something sweet, so I bought myself a pound of grape sugar. I had eaten that in a few days.
Slowly the life force and the desire to live returned. There has also come a change in my being. I have begun to use reason and feeling, instead of just feeling. I do not give away my last penny like I used to do before. Previously I gave away money merely because I was asked. The boys then often used it to go to the show or drink beer. I lost seventeen dollars during my first few weeks in the army. I was really going all out to give myself away. I was acting almost entirely on feelings.
For a long time I thought that it was wrong to use reason. I wanted to be led by God altogether. That was all right for a couple of months, but then some wrong forces sneaked in. I was afraid that some forces would awaken in me over which I had no control. Suddenly I became aware of great explosive forces within me. Now I am not surprised anymore that men like Hitler or Saint Francis of Assisi lived. Tremendous powers are in us. If we learn how to channel them, they will accomplish much good, if not, they will destroy others and us. It has been a great schooling. I am and we all are continually going to school.
I did not want to tell you how I was feeling, how little interest I had in life, because I did not want to worry you, dear Mother. You are the best thing I have in the world. I do not want to cause you any grief. I am still thinking about God and my desire is to know the truth. More than anything else I want to do the right thing. God knows my heart. He won’t mind that I read a Donald Duck funny book.
You have said that from a distance you see everything a little different. I also see things differently from here. Our family makes so much ado about food. We are influenced so easily and so completely by new diets. We are not very stable in our views. I hope that Hellmut’s friend will not only marry a girl only because of her unique diet. I wish he would not marry yet. It would be much better if he would wait, maybe until he is out of the army. We should ask the advice of other people who are standing on the sideline and are not involved.
Whatever you write, dear Mother, I am going to think about. I have done quite a bit of thinking, observing myself and inquiring if I shall or shall not eat meat. I have decided to eat it again. I do not have any mental opposition anymore. I do not know for how long I will eat it. I am going to see what effects it has. I have the feeling that no meat in our diet makes us more sensitive.
May I wish you a good night and pleasant dreams. We are going forward.
May God bless you,
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Sunday August 10, 1980
This is probably the most important letter that I have written you in the last ten years. You asked me over the phone last Wednesday morning, “Is there any hope for my situation?” Those words have continued to echo in my mind.
There are conservatively one million recovered alcoholics in this world. Their condition was as hopeless and deadly as yours is, even though your struggle is not with alcohol. They are living a productive and victorious lives, continuously reaching out to others who have come to the end of their rope. Each alcoholic who stops drinking is a ray of hope for someone else. For your sake and my sake, I am re-reading what is generally referred to as “The Big Book” or Alcoholics Anonymous. My edition of the book was printed in 1976 at which time there were 1,450,000 copies in print. I want you to get a copy of the book as soon as possible and read it very carefully.
Many of us are addicted, and even though our addiction may not be as obvious as the addiction of the alcoholic, it is just as deadly. There is the addiction of nicotine, of promiscuous sex, of a driving ambition, of opium or drugs whether prescription or otherwise. I believe that you know your own type of addiction. It has been a curse and a bondage in your life for many, many years. Love is often blind, and in some ways, I have contributed to your enslavement by sharing my own prescription drugs with you.
If I were to smoke a single cigarette, within three days I would smoke at least twenty cigarettes. You are like me, but your addiction is prescription drugs—painkillers and nerve pills. These drugs are as devastating to your mind as alcohol is to the alcoholic. They cause you now to have unreasonable fears, nightmares and many other unpredictable reactions like constipation. For many people, prescription mind-altering drugs and painkillers are like playing Russian roulette.
When you seek the help of a doctor, you are basically looking for someone who will continue to sanction your addiction. The doctor gives you what you want, because he knows that it would be extremely difficult for you to cope without the drugs. The doctor, however, is really not helping you.
You might remember that I worked for two months in the fall of 1970 on the drug rehabilitation ward of Olive View Hospital in Sylmar, California. During this time I observed that it was more difficult for patients to withdraw from barbiturates than from opium and heroin.
It is not too late for you to be set free. God will help you if you are willing to admit to yourself that you are enslaved by prescription drugs and that you need help. You have to decide that it is worth the battle, and in my mind there is no doubt. Our Lord will set you free if you call upon Him honestly and earnestly. He is big enough and will always be big enough to give each person complete victory, when that person admits his own inability to help himself.
Secondly, you must throw away every pill you have. Your hiding pills away is no different than the alcoholic hiding his booze.
Thirdly, your withdrawal symptoms may be painful and even dangerous at times. Your body can be detoxified much more safely in a hospital. I am not sure how long this might take, possibly two to three weeks.
Fourth, just like the AA people (Alcoholics Anonymous) are taught to share their victory with others, be willing to reach out, reach out and reach out again. Our continued health and prosperity is ours to keep only as long as we share it with others. This is a cure for preoccupation with self—a most deadly disease. Get your typewriter fixed and share every bit of progress with someone. Give all the credit for every bit of improvement to God and all those wonderful people He has sent to your aid.
You might ask, “But why so much pain, Lord?” I have struggled for an answer for a long time. Quite unexpectedly I was shown one of the keys to this difficult question.
I was watching an adventure movie entitled, Sasquatch about seven men on horseback who survive in an unexplored wilderness. One of the horses in the party strayed from the path and sunk into a quagmire. All efforts of the remaining six horses and riders to free the horse failed. Totally exhausted, the trapped horse was ready to give up. The keeper of the horse made one final effort to extricate his mount. He beat his horse. In order to get away from the pain, the horse surged and leaped to freedom. The owner or keeper explained that to attempt to save the horse should be our top priority. If it had had to be mercifully killed, he explained, the balance of the horses would have had to carry the extra load.
There are so many places where we can apply this story. I explained to a friend that as he continued to use tranquilizers and pain killing drugs, he was in fact turning off the fire alarm system and extinguishing the resources within to leap to freedom. The Holy Spirit came over me in waves of insight as I contemplated what I had been shown. There is a place for pain, but God’s preference is to gently lead us by His Holy Spirit.
I allowed my thoughts some further freedom to dwell on the subject of pain, whether it be physical or emotional. I have come to the conclusion that pain can also alert us to an attack by some intruder. No general would consider tranquilizing his troops before sending them into battle. But this is what we do when we consistently respond to pain or depression with some type of a drug. We develop an illusion of well being and safety that will eventually result in total disaster. We extinguish the fighting spirit within us and any keen perception of who the real enemy might be. Once we have decided to medicate ourselves with either alcohol or drugs of any kind, we stop looking for the real cause of our problem.
Severe pain or overwhelming emotions causes us to grasp at straws for support. Invariably we pull those down who are nearest and dearest to us. If our automatic response to pain has become the corner drugstore, we deny ourselves the unlimited resources of Jesus Christ. Those who respond to overwhelming emotions with aggression and panic can hurt an innocent bystander. The other end of the spectrum is suicide. There is help available, but only as we surrender our whole life on a daily basis to the Son of God.
It takes a while to break old habit patterns. Don’t let the devil deceive you concerning the battle that is before you. No one is ever too old, and it is never too late. Don’t let yourself be intimidated.
And just think of the tremendous hope you will inspire in others as you throw off your addiction with the help of Jesus and His heavenly hosts. As you know, this is far more a spiritual battle than a physical or mental one. It is written, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12). So, dear Mutti, “put on the whole armor of God” as it is explained in verses 13 through 18 of the same chapter.
The Holy Spirit has made your spirit alive. There is no age factor in the world of the spirit; and the words “too late” are an invention of the devil. Fight as long as there is breath within you. You can do it! Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13). So can you, so can anyone who believes these words.
May the God of Israel, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, seal these words to your heart.
Much love as always,
Sunday. March 21, 1982
My dear Peter,
The setting on the stage of my life is at present the same one as yesterday. It’s quiet in the house; it’s still dark outside. Papa might be sleeping. The door to his bedroom is closed. At least I know that he has no discomfort, no pains when he is lying in his bed. For that I am grateful. He might even be meditating now. He might be saying, “Testing, testing, one, two three, Holy Spirit come to me.” Praise the Lord. He might just be thinking it. I told him that that was my last thought yesterday. I just said these words over and over again while I was wiping up the bathroom floor, wet from a dripping faucet. I had made up that little verse which was dictated to me from an Unknown Source.
The saying was like a strap I could hold onto as if riding and standing in a crowded bus. I didn’t want to fall. My little verse made me feel like holding on. You know that as well as I do. You know that too. Do you spell “too” in the previous sentence with one or two o’s? I am forgetting how to spell many words and haven’t what it takes to look them up in the dictionary. Sorry.
I want to turn the clock back now to when I made up my mind to talk to you via the typewriter, instead of staying in bed just twisting and turning. I couldn’t stop thinking. “Why not instead get out of bed and tell you what I thought!” That would certainly be more beneficial. I thought of your letter pertaining to the medication I take. You wrote that it was one of the hardest letters to write. I believe it, because I can remember what it was all about.
In the evening last night I read about the man who wanted to die in dignity. It was in a Guideposts magazine, a magazine which had been on my bookshelf since many years. It was about life after death, “Eternity Can Begin Now” by John L. Sherrill. I would also like to die in dignity. I copied the following from the magazine:
“I never really had come to grips with the question, was Jesus of Nazareth in fact, God? ‘You might ask what difference it makes,‘ said Catherine Marshall.’ It spells the difference between life and death, John. The Bible tells us that when we believe in Christ, we no longer have to die, but have everlasting life.’”
The story naturally continues and it is extremely fascinating what happened and how this man changed. I can almost drown in the amounts of literature that has come my way during my lifetime on this subject.
I have pain on three levels—spiritual, emotional and physical. It is the result of taking an excessive amount of pills and many operations. Since a month or so I stopped taking all pills except for an herb laxative. I, too, want to die in dignity. I want the Good Lord to say: “Well done Josephine” when I arrive.
I am getting so side-tracked, it just isn’t funny. In thinking of your book and last manuscript, the thought flashed through my mind to write to Guideposts. I could tell them how you use your gift for the Lord so that others might “believe.” It’s a big assignment. I think that it would be a terrific opportunity for you to spread your wings. There is so much I want to tell you before I leave. That is the reason I write you so often and also talk to you by phone. I want to spread my wings of LOVE also. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
What an opportunity to spread your gift from the Lord if Guideposts‘ editors would read your manuscript. You could send a plaque along for them. The Holy Spirit is with you and will be your guide. I am the go-between.
It’s hard to think when I am as tired as I am now. The movie of my mind is running faster than I want it to. I have so much to tell you. It really started last night. It was about 9:30 when I picked up your manuscript. First I picked up your long letter. It was a beautiful inspiration for me. You answered several of my questions in it. I feel that the Holy Spirit dictated every word you wrote. I just have to think of what you wrote and again I feel the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord.
I am getting very nervous now. I can see that the ribbon on my machine is on strike, and I will not be able to continue writing soon. I have not even told you about the main reason for writing. It pertains to your manuscript.
You will soon see a different type of script. I am using my other machine, the little Smith-Corona that Hellmut so lovingly gave me while we were living in Los Angeles.
I have my desk covered with little papers on which I scribbled my thoughts while reading the manuscript. I wanted to catch and remember what I thought as I went along reading. Often I cannot read my own handwriting any more. I would be sorry if that would be the case when I want to copy these little thoughts from the papers I used. I didn’t want you to miss out, not even one of my thoughts. I kept on reading and reading and reading. At first I read your letter under the green plastic binder, then the preface— the letter to Phyllis—and then I read the prophecy and everything that followed. It was 1:30 A.M. Sunday when I was finished reading. I started on Saturday at 9:30 P.M. I not only read, but also tried to capture my thoughts on paper for you. I was really very busy and forgot all about myself.
As time went by I got very tired and very cold. My fingers felt like icicles. Finally I went to bed as I was, fully dressed including a warm sweater plus a heating pad. I slept until 3:15 A.M. My wish and effort to stay in bed some more were useless. I spent about 45 minutes walking back and forth between the kitchen and the bedroom. I snacked on rye crisp, prunes and drank some tea. Nothing tasted right.
It’s now ten minutes after six and I have drawn the curtain. Daylight is coming in. I finally will start to copy from the little notations. Regarding your manuscript:
1. It is a spiritual magnet. Once you start to read, you cannot stop. You cannot let go of the book.
2. It is a spiritual alarm clock.
3. It is a new perfume. You use a few drops, and it’s suddenly your favorite brand. It is the perfume you want to buy all the time.
4. It has a contagious spiritual power.
5. It is like lightning. Like lightning, like a tornado it will travel through the world. It will be printed in many languages.
6. It will be one of the best sellers, read and bought by millions. What this book has done for me it will do to all who reach out for it.
It is not the natural love of a mother for her child who writes you this way. It is the feeling of my spirit that prompts me to talk to you about the manuscript this way. The Holy Spirit within you wrote it. I feel this so strong in my spirit. I told you before that I could not stop reading once I started. When I came to the end, I opened the manuscript at random. Again I was fascinated and kept on reading. But finally I had to stop. I was getting too tired and cold.
I now have a question. Is this manuscript to be published as a separate book? I think that the first book, which pertains to your life and spiritual development, should be published with the manuscript. Don’t you think so? How could this be done? It would involve a great big expense, but what is money? Nothing, nothing at all. Real spiritual growth, the birth of a soul, the awakening of a soul, that is everything.
Once upon a time I remember giving you a check for $25.00 quite on impulse. I think it happened at the United California Bank, where I had made a deposit. You lived in Escondido at the time. I said, “Peter, this check is for the YOU in you.” I really could not put my fingers on what I meant with these words except, that I loved the Spirit in you.
There are many dear people in this world, but they are still sleeping. Many go through life this way. Well, I was like most people, but today I am starting to LIVE. I am ALIVE. I am waking up in a different world. I have become aware of beautiful and mysterious things in my life. I think I have spoken about some of these to you. Remember our little trips to Captain Dooley’s Soup Kitchen? At times it was as if the Holy Spirit was around you and me. Remember our trips to the launderette in Poway? Remember our get-togethers in the Colony Kitchen? Ever so often did you sprinkle a few drops of rare “perfume” over me. I left you different than when I met you to go on these little trips.
I just marvel each time I receive anything from you. You make everything so attractive, neat and beautiful. It touches my heart each time. With each letter you write I feel a few drops of this “perfume” coming my way. I also want to make my letters look neat and tidy. That is quite impossible now, but I am learning. I am waking up, praying and meditating. New hope is born within me.
Sometimes the waves around me are very high. Then the cross is harder to carry. I also sometimes have to cry; but instead of feeling sorry for myself, I now try to live with new hopes. I pray for the Holy Spirit to touch me, for Jesus’ hand to touch me, for the Lord to touch Papa and me. For this I pray night and day. If I can’t feel His presence, I can always say: “Testing, testing, one, two, three, Holy Spirit come to me.” Praise the Lord.
I wish Dr. Rayner could get a copy of the manuscript together with a plaque we want him to have. I expect a letter from him soon telling us the verse he wants. Oh, how I wish our dear Papa could hold the manuscript in his hands and read it for himself. It just wasn’t part of God’s plan for him. I will read it to him. This will be hard for me because I have difficulty with my breathing. I will read a little at a time and hope I can finish it before the train leaves.
At times I feel as if I was the little girl that had been asleep for 100 years. Remember the fairy tale? No handsome prince woke me up, but you did, dear Peter, already years ago. There is a special bond between us.
I remember when you visited me in the hospital many years ago. It was during the war in Germany. You were still a little boy. I see you vividly in the entrance to the hospital room. You were wearing a little, frayed overcoat. Your neck was bandaged because your glands were swollen. You wanted to make me happy and brought me a present. It was a little bit of soap. Another time you brought a little bit of tea. Things were hard to get. I was always touched when I felt this love you carried in your heart.
The sun is shining brightly this morning. It is 7:30 and I haven’t said “good morning” to Papa yet. When we close our bedroom doors, each of us knows that it’s a sign that we don’t wish to be disturbed. We might be sleeping; we might be doing something. The noise of typing, though, Papa can hear. He knows that I want to keep on typing.
You know what I would like to do now? To call you up and read this letter over the phone. I would so much like to know how you felt as you read it. I’m so anxious to know while I’m still here. I might, I might not call.
Just please answer that part in my letter about the one or two books. I can’t quite understand what you are going to do, intend to do or would like to do. I do think that the two belong together. Don’t you? Of course the manuscript is in a way entirely different. The first book is interesting and very fascinating, but the manuscript is a real treasure house of jewels.
In the end you say, “Please write to me. Let us band together and be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.” I am writing you. My hell is the hours of pain in all areas. I feel that heaven is the final destination to which you hold one of the keys. Right? Right.
I will now finally stop typing. It’s almost 8:00 o’clock.
God Bless You
Mutti (Endearing word for Mother in German)
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
June 4, 1982
Dear Papa and Mutti,
We have been back a week, but as yet have not been able to get back to a routine. The mail, especially, seems to be the most difficult part to get to. I am placing the book Come Away My Beloved by Frances Roberts in the mail for Virgil and Barbara. I know that she does not own a copy. Since you refer to it so frequently in your letters, she should have the book that I purchased at the same time you bought your copy.
I think that you will be very happy to know that the sign “God Has Everything Under Control” is in very good hands with Monique. Monique has a very real and beautiful relationship with Jesus. She is unhappy about Hellmut’s problem. Monique and I went into another room while I was with her and on our knees asked Jesus to set Hellmut free. So you can rest in peace. It will be so. Hellmut is being set free.
It is right for Hellmut to create sandblasted signs which come from his personal relationship with Jesus. Brian Burnett, his mother, Hellmut, Susan and I prayed over the roll of sandblast stencil tape he purchased. We asked Jesus that the tape be used only for healing and liberating signs.
I am very happy to know, dear Mutti, that you are much more able to let God work in a variety of new ways and according to His timetable. In no way am I burdened by the volume or content of your letters to me. I see so much healing. Probably before long you will be able to bless others by your insights and enthusiasm. I know that you would have much to give to Hal Norman, one of my very special friends.
Dr. Roper’s heart attack does not really surprise me. His desire to help others yet to be so helpless in many situations must be hard for any doctor. Maybe the sandblasted dove of peace together with the most beautiful card you can find would add to his healing.
Two days ago we drove to Chromo to pray for a man about my age who had cancer. Forty- one people assembled to pray. The presence of God was very real. I was allowed to experience His healing power flowing through me for 24 hours prior to the prayer meeting. The man was able to discharge 22 pounds of water shortly after we prayed. He could eat a good meal and take a long walk. There is no greater joy than to be His instrument.
Many years ago I had a dream or vision, I cannot remember which. In it I saw you ushered into heaven with a beautiful white robe and escorted by a host of angels. I saw the same for Josephine in Los Angeles. What a beautiful gathering this will be. I have cherished these pictures and have kept them hidden in my heart for a long time.
It is a special grace for you to see Hellmut in the role of “Brother Lawrence” who wrote “The Practice of the Presence of God” several centuries ago. This is also very healing for Hellmut. Sometimes we only get the smallest glimpse of a person’s redeemed soul. We are to hold onto that glimpse and to share it only with those who will upgrade and support it. This principle also holds true in other areas. That most delicate preference we have for music, art and books should be shared only with those whose hearts are inclined in the same direction.
PTL, once again we have paid our mortgage when due. Three days before it was due we received payment for an eagle plaque (Isaiah 40:31); and a man who came for counseling left a cheek for 125 dollars.
Next Thursday we will be teaching at a Christian camp some 75 miles from here. About 25 teenagers will be learning how to make sandblasted signs.
We do keep busy, but we are not burdened.
God bless you,
Much love, Peter and Rebekah
P.S. We recently read the book ANGELS ON ASSIGNMENT by Charles and Frances Hunter as told by Roland Buck. We were truly blessed.
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Tuesday, September 7, 1982
It’s two hours after you called. I feel a great deal of precision in your voice. I feel that great desire on your part that your last act may be the most important, that the last melody you play may be the most beautiful and the most meaningful.
To give up the piano so that the manuscript can be published is probably your most delicate decision. Only you can decide. The only words of wisdom I can add, “What we voluntarily release is of more value than what is taken from us.” I remember how I struggled in my vision that I had about you. You were holding onto two things – your diamond ring and your piano. You have given up your diamond ring; now the struggle is concerning the piano. I had agonized with you about this many years ago. I can assure you that you will be set completely free.
I really believe that you will experience a great peace when this final battle is over. Then you will be able to look behind the veil of many mysteries. You will be given supernatural strength, protection and wisdom. Then these words of Jesus will be clothed for you in total reality:
“Lo, I am with you always”
I am also mailing a letter to Barbara today. I will let her know that your battles are currently very intense and that you love her.
Thank you for calling me this morning. It was a very important call. I will be battling with you. So many captives will be set free through your battle and victory!!!
The below letter was written after my father died in the Fall of 1982. It was written after “The Wood Blossom” was published.
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Each time you cry out for help and you search heaven and earth for a way out, you provide me with a great challenge. My desire to help you and not just pamper you in the midst of your despair drives me to pray and to sift and to ponder each thought and word. What can I give you that would inspire and challenge you to finish your race with dignity? Many races are lost so very near the end. May that not happen to you.
legacy that you could bequeath upon your sons and daughters than to show us through your own example that Jesus is the only one worthy of your complete trust.
You have given me many things. Above all, you have given me life. You have steadied my steps when I was little. You have taught me right from wrong. You have believed in me when I could not believe in myself. You pleaded with God for my life when I was ill; and He answered your prayers.
Now that you are old and your train is about to leave, now that every step is painful and a day can become an eternity, I, your son, desire one more gift from you. I desire to see you finish the race with courage. I desire to see your faith in your God and my God strong and vibrantly alive. I desire to see you bring all your problems and all your pain to the Only One who has all the answers. I desire to see victory in the midst of pain, confusion and fear. There is no greater
I beseech you, grant us the gift of seeing Jesus in you—His nature, His gentleness, His courage, His forgiveness. Money is spent, fame is soon forgotten, but your victory will be an inspiration to your son and his sons. Grant us the gift of your victory. It is written and it is true:
“I am sure that God who began a good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.” Philippians 1:6
Let no one rob you or your children of this precious promise. Together with Christ Jesus alive in you, you can finish the race with dignity, and inspire us through your example, to finish ours.