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A LOVE STORY
For All Times

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

I must be getting old. Songs from bygone years seem to creep back into my mind, recalling bittersweet memories of my youth.

Tom and I wrote many letters to each other in those years during World War II when we lived 3,000 miles apart. We first met at ages eleven and twelve through our mothers who had been childhood playmates in the "Old Country," a term identifying the original home of immigrants. We began to write letters when we were both in high school, knowing somehow, even then, we were meant to be together, someday, to find our love face to face and to share a love always.

We got to know each other through these letters alone. We would fantasize our "Love Via Airmail" and made the popular song of the times, "Always," by Irving Berlin, "our" song.

"I'll be loving you,
Always,
With a love that's true,
Always.
When the things you've planned,
Need a helping hand,
I will understand,
Always,... Always.
Days may not be fair,
Always,
That's when I'll be there,
Always,
Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always."

Irving Berlin (1925)

Yet, we were not to meet in person until the ending of the War in 1945. Even then, after a brief two-week get-acquainted visit by Tom to San Francisco, to finally meet me, I did not see him again until my trip to his family home in New York City the following year.

When I returned home, our letters continued back and forth. In all the voluminous letter-writing between us during those years, we would close each letter from the heart with, "Always," and continued to sing "our song," each alone, while I finished my college education. It wasn't until I was ready to graduate two years later that Tom made his final trip west for that event, followed by our wedding two months later!

"Always." They don't make songs like that anymore," I muse. Though it is a delightful story of two young people in love, I have discovered the song to be much more than just that!

It's the story of God's love with us! Think of it! God loves each one of us always, with a love that's true in Jesus, always. When things go wrong and we need help, He's there for us, always! Days may not be fair, always. That's when He'll be there, always. Not just temporarily for an hour, a day or even a year, and even more than always...but eternally! Never ever to be separated from God because of the sacrifice and resurrection of His Son!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

I've told you our love story. But that God loves every one of us is surely the greatest love story of all!

The following ageless word from the Lord still resonates:

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."
(1 Peter 5:6,7)

ALWAYS THE SAME

Why do you question, dear one?
I have provided all in your life.
And though things change
I Myself do not.
I will continue to look after you,
giving whatever is needed.
For I always care for you,
seeking only your complete trust in Me.
I am yours and you are Mine, forevermore!

(c) Constance Vanides
December 3, 2002

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