It was a day late in April. A really beautiful day. Everyone remarked about the unusual weather Michigan was enjoying this Spring. It was wonderful to be alive on a day like this. One’s heart would almost skip a beat with excitement and joy. And that refreshing breeze! A breeze that gently rustled through the trees as if it would arouse each branch individually to its task of re-clothing its bare limbs with leaves and blossoms. A breeze that brought to one’s nostrils the sweet smells of earth, spaded and hoed in the anticipation of blooming American Beauties and delicate blue and white Morning Glories. A breeze that just tilted women’s hats to an awkward angle and caused men to run for theirs with outstretched arms and embarrassed glances all around.
But this breeze did even more. Without the slightest sign of guilt this gentle April wind brought snatches of the most interesting conversation. Stirring tales that wind did tell and what could I do but listen!
The deep tones of men’s voices mingled with those of cheerful little children’s, reached my ears.
“But we have Christian Schools that teach our children Bible Stories every day. Why do we need a school of our own?” asked one, a bit impatiently.
“Need a school of our own!” I heard another male voice exclaim, “Why, my good man, don’t you think it is necessary that our children are taught the truth in their most impressive years?”
“What do you mean, the ‘truth’, you mean doctrine?” responded the first voice, “What do children understand about doctrine anyway.”
“To you the word doctrine probably means cold theological theories. But, doctrine really has a very practical meaning. Sound doctrine gives all glory to God and our children must learn that from the very beginning of their school years. When they open their History books they must see in it the unfolding of God’s plan and how the cup of iniquity is gradually being filled, how God uses men as His tools for the salvation of the elect. And not only in their studies but in the extra curricula that takes such a large place in the educational system of today. That must be distinct from that of the other school systems.” Hmmm, thought I, must be Protestant Reformed.
“Songs like, ‘Oh my Goodness, Gracious Rachael, what a grand world this would be’, and so on, shall not be taught to children in our school”, spoke a familiar voice which might belong to an aspirant to the new teaching staff, he spoke with such emphasis. “And no silly movies and comedies and plays that turn the children’s heads.”
And then another voice, “But think of the money it will take!”
“That surely can be no objection. Is not the spiritual well-being of our children more important than anything else in life?”
Suddenly the wind shifted. It turned a bit cooler, perhaps to counteract the words it bore which singed with anger and indignation.
“1 tell you, it is maddening to think that one man is upsetting the lives of everyone,” t’was the voice of a young man speaking.
“War is a horrible thing,” answered another, who from his tone of voice, exercised a little better self-control, perhaps due to the fact that he hadn’t received his “questionnaire” as yet.
“Horrible,” remarked the first, “Think of the millions that are killed, think of the wounded and suffering, think of the starvation and sickness, the breaking up of homes and families. Things surely look miserable across the seas. And it won’t be long before we are in it too. America is just walking around with a chip on its shoulder waiting for someone to knock it off. What do you think the draft is for? Why do you think she wants a standing army!”
A few moments of silence followed. I thought they had finished conversing. But, no, the voice of the first young man again reached my ear. But he continued in an entirely different tone, like a kettle that had boiled over and then subsided. It was the same voice, the same young man, but a different inner self that spoke.
“It may look dark, but there is a Light. There is a way out of this cave of darkness and misery. Only we don’t always see it so clearly. After all, the ‘red horse’ is not running wild!”
I heard no more. Again, the wind had shifted. And, oh, what a heedless wind, it cared not where it eavesdropped. What now!
“Have you heard,” exclaimed a rather flippant young feminine voice, “someone has started a Marriage Bureau on the East End.”
“How ridiculous,” retorted another.
“I think it is a splendid idea,” remarked a third. I surmised she must be over thirty-five.
“How do you go about it?” asked another interested party.
“Well, it is also to be an employment service. You merely put in your request for whatever you want, a carpenter, a stenographer, a husband or a wife. And it’s to be run by a minister!”
And that was all of that. I shuddered at the thought. Fancy a Dorothy Dix column in the Beacon Lights! Ah! The wind was at it again. It brought me the mellow ring of a church bell, the sorrowful note of a funeral dirge. One minute it seemed to laugh, the next it groaned in agony.
There are so many things in the air, thought I, so many disturbing things. Sorrow and sadness, pleasure and pain all seem mingled together. Problems of all sizes and shapes loom up before us constantly. War and bloodshed rages all around us and in the midst of it all, the love-lorn always have their age-old difficulties to solve.
I stood still for a moment, and listened! The Wind! It was whistling its own tune now. A joyful song of gratitude. It cleared my mind and filled my heart with thanksgiving. Was there any problem too great to be solved, any fear too terrifying to be stilled by the words:
“In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the World.”