I did not hear from Teddy until seven years later, when his first letter appeared in my mailbox.

"Dear Miss Thompson,

I just wanted you to be the first to know, I will be graduating second in my class next month.

Very Truly Yours, Teddy Stallard"

I sent him a card of congratulations and a small package, a pen and pencil gift set. I wondered what he would do after graduation. Four years later, Teddy's second letter came.
"Dear Miss Thompson,

I wanted you to be the first to know. I was just informed that I will be graduating first in my class. The university has not been easy, but I liked it.

Very Truly Yours, Teddy Stallard"

I sent him a pair of sterling silver monogrammed cuff links and a card, so proud of him I could burst! And now today--Teddy's third letter.

"Dear Miss Thompson,

I wanted you to be the first to know. As of today I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. How about that!!?? I'm going to be married in July, the 27th. I wanted to ask if you could come and sit where Mom would sit if she were here. I'll have no family there as Dad died last year.

Very Truly Yours, Teddy Stallard"

I'm not sure what kind of gift a person should send to a doctor on completion of medical school and state boards. Maybe I'll just wait and take a wedding gift, but I should write a note.

"Dear Ted,

Congratulations! You made it, and you did it yourself! In spite of those like me and not because of us, this day has come for you. God bless you. I'll be at the wedding with bells on!

- Elizabeth Silance Ballard

(More Stories for the Heart, compiled by Alice Gray (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1997), pp. 55-59.)

We can learn a lesson from Mrs. Ballard.  Sometimes the people God is calling us to love are not pretty.  They may have many problems.  They may even not love us.  But if we show them God's love through our lives, the Lord can and often does use our love to touch the lives of others.

Love Is Action

Newspaper columnist and minister George Crane tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even.  Before I divorce him I want to hurt him as much as he has me.  Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan "Go home and act as if you really love your husband.  Tell him how much he means to you.  Praise him for every decent trait.  Go out of your way to be as

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