When Margaret Andrews was twenty-five, she received what she thought was a call to the foreign mission field. Her parents, although they at first tried to dissuade her, put no obstacle in the way of her hopes, and, full of eagerness, she began training at a school in another city. One day, says the California Advocate, she received a telegram. Her mother had met with an accident, just how serious could not at once be known. Margaret packed her books and took the first train home, expecting to return in a few weeks. Long before the weeks had passed she knew that her dream must be given up. Her mother would never be able to do anything again, and Margaret, instead of making her journey to strange lands, saw herself shut in to the duties of housekeeper and nurse.
“Oh, yes,” the girl answered, “and I could give up the foreign field. It isn’t that. But I haven’t time to do anything, not even to take a mission-class, and to see so much work waiting, and be able to do nothing–”
“Margaret,” the old minister said, “come here.”
The girl followed him to the next room, where a mirror hung between the windows. Her reflection, pale and unhappy, faced her wearily.
“All up and down the streets,” the old minister said, “in the cars, the markets, the stores, there are people starving for the bread of life. The church can not reach them–they will not enter a church. Books can not help them–many of them never open a book. There is but one way that they can ever read the gospel of hope, of joy, of courage, and that is in the faces of men and women.
“Two years ago a woman who has known deep trouble came to me one day, and asked your name. ‘I wanted to tell her,’ she said ‘how much good her happy face did me, but I was afraid that she would think it was presuming on the part of an utter stranger. Some day, perhaps, you will tell her for me.’ Margaret, my child, look in the glass and tell me if the face you see there has anything to give to the souls that are hungry for joy–and they are more than any of us realize–who, unknown to themselves, are hungering for righteousness. Do you think that woman, if she were to meet you now, would say what she said two years ago?”
The girl gave one glance and then turned away, her cheeks crimson with shame. It was hard to answer, but she was no coward. She looked up into her old friend’s grave eyes.
“Thank you,” she said; “I will try to learn my lesson and accept my mission–to the streets.”
- [MaryVitamin] Eleventh Station (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
Potency of The Invisible
Material forces called battle-ships bulk larger, but the invisible spiritual forces go farther, last longer and make cannon seem contemptible and paltry. In cold countries men sometimes build palaces of ice for some public function. In the hour when beautiful women and brilliant military bands assemble for a winter festival, the water, manifest in blocks of ice, seems very imposing. But would you know the real power of water, wait until it becomes invisible. Then lift your eyes to the western sunset, where colors of gold and rose are revealed by this in visible vapor; watch the rain-drop redden in the purple flow of grape and the crimson drops of pomegranate, or see it tossed by a harvester in sheaves of grain. Then, in what water does through its invisible workings, do we know its place in nature and its contributions to man’s happiness. N. D. Hillis