15 February 2010

to my dear Elsie

I first heard of Harry Emerson Fosdick many years ago, but until a few weeks ago, I never paid much attention to him. The book, The Meaning of Faith, which I’ve blogged about, is the first of his writings that I’ve actually taken the time to read. The way this particular volume came to my attention is a story in itself.

At about the time of the Thanksgiving holiday, I discovered the hard cover edition of the book in a basket, along with some other books and magazines of my wife’s. She said she didn’t know how it came to appear in that spot—and who am I to say that she was anything less than completely truthful?

It is obviously an early printing of the work, copyrighted in 1917, published by Association Press in New York in 1922. As attested by some still-legible ink on the first page, the book was a present: “To my dear Elsie, Christmas 1923. Continue to be, as you now are—a joy and blessing to all of us.”

My guess would be that Elsie has departed from us. Pray for us, Elsie. Perhaps some of the love that went into the production of this bound volume—which somehow found its way to my hands—is living on even today.

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