Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You take what life gives you and just go on

Dorothea S. Kopplin wrote a small book in 1945 called “Something to live by”. When I bought this hard cover little book it cost thirty-five cents. It’s so old and fragile I open it carefully because I’m afraid it’s yellow pages will crumble and be lost.

In the Preface Dorothea writes: “When I was told I could not live to bring up my children I decided to write a book to serve as a substitute in their lives”. This little book is filled with wonderful quotations from great literature, popular wisdom, and the Bible.

In the “Purpose of sorrow” she wrote something that took me back to my youth. I understood it completely because my Father was a very intelligent man, and the Superintendent of a Textile mill. His office was only two blocks from our house and I often visited him.

It was in the late 1930’s and he showed me the massive looms and how they worked. He often designed the beautiful patterns for the jacquard looms. This was before computers and everything was done by hand and careful drawings on punch cards that controlled picks that lifted up the treads faster than the eye could see.

He gave each of his children a set of towels, and other things that he designed and then produced on the looms. Mine is a gold color with black Egyptian figures inset around the sides.

Dorothea writes: “A Christians life is lain in the loom of time to a pattern which he does not see, but God does; and his heart is in the shuttle. On one side of the loom is sorrow, and on the other side is joy. The shuttle, struck alternately by each, flies back and forth, carrying the thread, which is white or black as the pattern needs.

In the end, when God lifts up the finished garment, and all its changing hues shall be seen, it will then appear that the dark and deep colors were as needful to beauty as the bright and lighter ones”.

It’s amazing that 62 years later Dorothea’s little book filled with messages of courage, love, hope, and comfort for her children is still being a blessing.

She didn’t whine or cry, or moan about her problems, but wrote everything she could find that was uplifting, thought provoking, filled with love and the goodness of God.

Question: Who can we encourage, laugh with and speak a word of encouragement to them today? Everyone we meet needs it.