|Little Jo Ann, with the restless curls|| "I may give Him Love, and Worship - Prayer |
|And the dancing, clear brown eyes -||I may give him Thankfulness." |
|So full of chatter, mischief, fun,||(And, as if to sum up- everything) |
|But she is wondrous wise.||"I'll give Him Givefulness." |
|For Sunday school she writes her thoughts||Dear little Jo Ann, with her "givefulness!"|
|In her quaint and earnest way;||(She's nearer ten than eleven).|
|In writing of what she may give to God.||No wonder that Jesus said, tenderly|
|She has just this to say:|| "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."|
"Givefulness" is not to be found in Webster's Dictionary, but surely it is accepted by the recording angels on high. We are full of thankfulness at Thanksgiving time, and really should be all of the time. Why couldn't we have the spirit of "givefulness" all the time? There are so many ways to give. Jo Ann's notes in her quarterly give us something to think about. Since January was named after the two-faced god, Janus, who could look forward and backward, we may still look back over 1939. In recalling the most satisfying experience in the Old Year, I find - sure enough - that it had to do with "givefulness." Our large Sunday School class - of over one hundred married couples (many of whom are teachers, but still belong) does quite a bit of welfare work. Last March Virgil and I - as members of the Welfare Committee - were privileged to have a share in giving a party to the children of a mission in one of the "poor" sections of town. A great-hearted woman, Miss Jessie King, through her faith and courage and love of humanity, keeps that mission as a vital force for God, and sees to it that no one in that community goes hungry or cold - if she knows about it. Through her we arranged for the party; the children of the mission furnished the entertainment (except the orchestra, made up of our S.S. class members) and we furnished the eats.
There was quite an eery angle to this party. About three days before the party (which came on St. Patrick's Day) a threatening note was received by our teacher, and also by Miss King, warning us not to give that party, or there would be dire consequences. A representative of our class and Miss King got together, compared notes, then took them to police headquarters - although Miss King suspected a certain harmless crank in their church. However, the police department sent out four detectives - two to watch on the outside, and two inside. This mission had taken for its quarters a very old, deserted brick church, that carried a heavy, musty odor, in spite of its scrubbed cleanliness. As we of the committee sat in the last pew at the right, and surveyed the cracked and broken plaster, we speculated that a good-sized firecracker would bring it all down in a glorious shower. Just then the basement door behind us blew open, emitting a draft of cold, damp air that DID give us a turn. Outside of that, nothing sinister happened. Well, it would have done your heart good to have seen and heard those children of the mission. Though some of their clothes were pitifully shabby, the gift of a handsome tie or a pretty hair-ribbon could do wonders for their self-respect and self-confidence. Their faces were shining clean, and their hair slicked back for this great occasion. It was their "big chance" to show what they could do. The sweet earnestness of most of them would bring a recurring lump to your throat. Some got stage fright; but a charming and sympathetic master of ceremonies soon put them at ease. One tiny tot, with golden curls, dressed like a doll, in a dress made entirely of pink crepe paper, never did find her tongue; but she made such a picture that she was roundly applauded, and received a gift along with all the other participants. "God works in a mysterious ways, His wonders to perform." If we hadn't received those threatening notes, there would have been no detectives there. One of those detectives hadn't been inside a church for years; his work prevented him at first, and he gradually drifted away. The songs and speeches of those earnest little children touched him so deeply that he made a solemn pledge to go to his church regularly. And that, said our teacher, was the best thing that came from our party. Overheard at a dinner: The host, a cub scout leader, was telling of a hike to our local "Rockies," Nelson's Ledges, where his boys did some daring climbing. "At one time," he admitted, "my heart was in my mouth." "Why didn't you chew it up, Daddy?" piped up his tiny daughter.***
Next week I'll tell you about the rummage sale held in the negro district. In the meantime, do you know why the four little ink spots were crying?...Because their father was in the pen.
Florence B. Taylor
Next -1/30/40 - The Rummage Sale