The last day of June! And what a day! Just a moment ago hailstones the size of robins' eggs were pelting roofs and vegetation. As a hangover from farm days, I am set to wondering if it damaged the corn. But, of course, this year the corn is still very small. Has it rained every day this past week in Pennsylvania? With the exception of Thursday, it has done so in our town. Housewives' chief outdoor sport has been hanging out the wash and taking it down again - an all-day game, with the elements winning. This morning, feeling a bit physically and emotionally spent, after a full week of work (for my housekeeper has a job now - thank Heaven) and the emotional "binge" of a wedding last night. I wondered how I could possibly write a column today. My mind seemed as barren as the Sahara desert. I went to church, and now my only problem is making my fingers find the right typewriter keys fast enough. When David, the psalmist, sang, "He restoreth my soul," he might have added, "and thereby restoreth my physical strength." Truly, "man liveth not by bread alone."
Our sermon this morning (by Dr. Harold Cooke Phillips) was named, "The Glory and the Tragedy of Life." How comforting it was - and is - in this time of ghastly destruction of human life, and robbing men of things that are dearer to them than life! Dr. Phillips took as his text, "Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden;" (taken from St. John 19:41). From that simple text he built a wonderful sermon: Life, made up of good and evil, beauty and ugliness, hope and despair, laughter and tears, joy and sorrow... all intermingled. 'Twas in a beautiful garden that man first sinned; "In Flanders field the poppies grow; Between the crosses, row on row." The world's most unjust crucifixion was perpetrated in a garden. It all seems incongruous. Yet, back of it all, as Dr. Phillips said, God has a plan. The Bible history, which tells, with embarrassing honesty, of man's shameful wickedness, is prefaced with the unforgettable and unretractable statement, "Man was created in God's own image." The divine in us can never be quite destroyed. The suffering and humiliation... yes, even the feeling of being forsaken by the Heavenly Father... were only temporal experiences of Jesus. The garden stands for permanence... perennial outcropping of goodness and beauty. This awful war - crushing as it is - belongs to the temporal things. The ultimate plan of God must remain. How I wish I could quote our pastor's sermon - or parts of it - verbatim! If a thing is said right, or written right, its truth seems to sink deeper into one's consciousness.
Let me copy a few thoughts from our church folder on "Time to Live": We urge ourselves on to goals that too often become ashes in our hands. To get the most out of life we must take time to live.
Time to read good books; time to hobnob with the great.
Time to listen to the greatest and most inspiring speakers.
Time to play with the children and to discover again the fountain of youth.
Time for travel.
Time for laughter; time for letting go and filling the heart with mirth.
Time for nature; time for flower gardens, birds and sunsets.
Time to love and be loved, for love is the greatest thing in the world.
Time to loaf and dream, and grow a great soul.
Time for service; time to be a good neighbor.
Time for music that washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Time for worship, for the spiritual stimulus of being in tune with the Infinite.
Let us pray as did Matthew Arnold, "Calm, calm me more, nor let me die before I have begun to live."
Florence B. Taylor
Next - 7/18/40 - Betty Smith is seriously ill