'Til we meet again. What simple and romantic words. Doesn't it sound like something from a classic black and white film or can't you just image Rhett Butler saying it to Scarlett O'Hara? Well, "'Til We Meet Again" by Ray & Betty Whipps with Craig Borlase is just that. A true story meant to be a classic.
Ray Whipps, started as an infantryman during the Second World War, and Betty, a field nurse stationed in Cherbourg, France. They fell in love and vowed to wed after the war. "'Til We Meet Again" is not just a story, it's a memoir of love and faith during a war.
This book is narrated through Ray's perspective with letters written by Betty interspersed throughout. From his perspective and her letters, we see as spectators how God was their strength and comfort during times of turmoil, and how He brought these two together. It's a beautiful love story. As we see the war through Ray's eyes, I'm impressed and shocked at the resiliency of soldiers and nurses at times of war. God was Ray's strength, and it was by God's blessing that Ray met Betty, a fellow Christian when it didn't seem like there were others. As Ray starts singing 'Jesus Loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so...", I started singing along. It was when he's alone, that he found serenity in knowing that he is NOT alone. God is always with him. I love how this story tells us from different perspectives through Ray's narration and Betty's letters how God had intertwine them and destined for them to meet. War is not simple. It is not a fairy tale. It is dirty, dangerous and broken. Yet, amidst all of that, two souls were able to meet, find each other and build a lifetime of memories.
Besides the romance aspect of this memoir, I was quite interested in how Ray became a soldier. His journey as a cadet in the Navy and then an infantryman in the Army was interesting. I had visited West Point and recently, the Naval Academy and were impressed by the requirements to attend those academies, and the character one built through military training. I think it's touched upon when Ray wrote to his brother, Bud early in his training in the Army, and throughout Ray's time in the frontlines. Respect is what comes to mind for soldiers and veterans of our country. Semper Fidelis.
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." - Joshua 1:9
NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Tyndale House Publishers for an honest review.