Irene Dunne: Wish You Were Here

Guideposts is a magazine that was founded in 1945 by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking. Over the years, the publication has run many stories by stars and performers from the Cladrite Era, and we thought we might share one of them with you every now and then…

Wish You Were Here by Irene Dunne (December 1951)

Irene DunneAt an evening party in my home several months ago, a fascinated group gathered around former Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce, who held her audience, not by brilliant discourse on politics or the theatre, but by her eloquent statements on her personal religious convictions.

An elderly gentleman smoked his cigar and listened quietly. When the party broke up, he turned to me and, shaking his head admiringly, he said, “You see, she’s just too smart not to be on the safe side!”

I was amused, but later on, as I went about ashtrays and putting out lights, I thought again about my guest’s remark. What he doubtless meant to say was, “She’s too smart not to be on God’s side.” How hard it is for most of us to talk about our religious feelings, I mused. But to tell others about them, to share your treasure, is so important, for surely the best way to keep your religion is to give it away freely.

Now I am no theologian, no scholar, not even a writer. I ask myself, “How can I find a simple, uncomplicated, sincere way of telling others about the richness, satisfaction, and joy that my religion brings to my life, so that they, too, may desire to open the door and let God in?”

Then it occurred to me it was something like seeing your friends for the first time since your return from a wonderful trip—let’s call this a heavenly trip. You had such a glorious time, you’ve already sent post cards, saying, “Wish you were here.” If you have the gift of words, your description of the place will make them want to go.

Even if you have not the gift, they will note that your trip has refreshed and restored you; your step is buoyant, your heart is light. The place where you have been, and still reside in secret, has done so much for you that all who come in contact with you will yearn to go there too. They want their cup filled to overflowing as is yours.
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