“I don’t see what use I can make of the moon and stars,” said Amy.
“And yet,” answered her mother, “you said only a minute ago that the beauty of this moon-light evening made you feel so quiet and happy.”
“O, yes! That is so; and you were going to tell me why it was.”
“First,” said the mother, “let me, remind you that the moon and stars give us light by night, and that, if you happened to be away at a neighbor’s after the sun went down, they would be of great use in showing you the path home-ward.”
“I didn’t think of that when I spoke of not seeing what use I could make, of the moon and stars,” Amy replied.
Her mother went on,—
“God made everything that is good and beautiful for the stake of man, as I have just told you; and each of these good and beautiful things of creation comes to us with a double blessing,—one for our bodies and the other for our souls. The moon and stars not only give light this evening to make dark ways plain, but their calm presence fills our souls with peace. And they do so, because all things of nature being the work of God, have in them a likeness of something in himself not seen by our eyes, but felt in our souls. Do you understand anything of what I mean, Amy?”
“Just a little, only,” answered the child. “Do you mean, mother dear, that God is inside of the moon and stars, and everything else that he has made?”
“Not exactly what I mean; but that he has so made them, that each created thin is as a mirror in which our souls may see something of his love and his wisdom reflected. In the water we see an image of his truth, that, if learned, will satisfy our thirsty minds and cleanse us from impurity. In the sun we see an image of his love, that gives light, and warmth, and all beauty and health to our souls.”
“And what in the moon?” asked Amy.
“The moon is cold and calm, not warm and brilliant like the sun, which tells us of God’s love. Like truths learned, but not made warm and bright by love, it shows us the way in times of darkness. But you are too young to understand much about this. Only keep in your memory that every good and beautiful thing you see, being made by God, reflects something of his nature and quality to your soul and that this is why the lovely, the grand, the beautiful, the pure, and sweet things of nature fill your heart with peace or delight when you gaze at them.”
For a little while after this they sat looking out of the window, both feeling very peaceful in the presence of God and his works. Then voice was heard below, and Amy, starting up, exclaimed,—
“O, there is father!” and taking her mother’s hand, went down to meet him.
An angel in disguise.
Idleness, vice, and intemperance had done their miserable work, and the dead mother lay cold and still amid her wretched children. She had fallen upon the threshold of her own door in a drunken fit, and died in the presence of her frightened little ones.