But as she turned back from the completed task, her card with its motto met her eye, like a gentle reproof to her ruffled spirit—“LOOKING UNTO JESUS.” Had she not forgotten that already? She had come home enthusiastic—full of an ideal life she was to live, an example and influence for good to all around her. But, mingled in her aspirations, there was an unconscious desire for pre-eminence and an insidious self-complacency—“little foxes” that will spoil the best grapes. She had to learn that God will not be served with unhallowed fire; that the heart must be freed from pride and self-seeking before it can be fit for the service of the sanctuary. Already she knew she had been impatient and unconciliatory, contemptuous to poor ill-trained Nancy, whose home influences were very unfavourable; and now, by her hastiness towards her cousin, whom she had been so anxious to influence for good, she had probably disgusted her with the things in which she most wanted to interest her.
She did not turn away, however, from the lights conscience brought to her. Nurtured in a happy Christian home, under the watchful eye of the loving father whose care had to a great extent supplied the want of the mother she could scarcely remember, she could not have specified the time when she first began to look upon Christ as her Saviour, and to feel herself bound to live unto Him, and not to herself. But her teacher’s words had given her a new impulse—a more definite realization of the strength by which the Christian life was to be lived—
“The mind to blend with
While keeping at Thy side.”
Humbled by her failure, she honestly confessed it, and asked for more of the strength which every earnest seeker shall receive.
With a much lighter heart and clearer brow, Lucy went to rejoin Stella, whom she found amusing herself with Harry and his rabbits, having forgotten all about Lucy’s hastiness. Lucy seated herself on the grass beside them, joining readily in the admiration with which Stella, no less than Harry, was caressing the soft, white, downy creature with pink eyes, which was her brother’s latest acquisition.
“I want him to call it Blanche—such a pretty name, isn’t it, Lucy?” said Stella.
“I won’t,” declared the perverse Harry, “because I don’t like it;” and so saying, he rushed off to join “the boys,” as he called them.
“What have you got there?” asked Stella, holding out her hand for Lucy’s card, which she had brought down. “Yes, it’s pretty, but Sophy does much prettier ones; you should see some lovely ones she has done!”
“Has she?” asked Lucy with interest,—thinking Stella’s sister must care more for the Bible than she herself did, if she painted illuminated texts. “I was going to tell you this was what Miss Preston was speaking to us about.”
“I don’t see that she could say much about that, it’s so short. I don’t see what it means; Jesus is in heaven now, and we can’t see Him.”