Posted by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker text© 2011 on Jun 14th, 2010
Good Tidings My Dear Friends of the Blog on this Sunny Day,
Just think, we are receiving all the wonderful benefits of Vitamin ‘D’ – free! Brought to us at the speed of light by Fusion Express from 93 million miles away, courtesy of our Creator God’s miracle sun!
Just the other day, in a very old book, I read a beautiful passage about the sun, written by William Law (1686-1761) a Cambridge professor and English minister and writer: “Never rise without saluting the rising sun in the Name of God, as if it had just been created, and sent up into your sky to let you see to serve God and your neighbor for another day.” What inspiring treasures we find in the writings of these great authors of the Faith.
While William Law was writing such Christian books as An Appeal to All Who Doubt the Truths of The Gospel, the general English public of the 1700’s was singing the popular words to the old nursery rhyme, “There was a Jolly Miller who lived by the River Dee.”
Actually, there had been a mill on the bridge of the River Dee at Chester since the eleventh century – but the old Dee Mill of Jolly Miller fame burned down in May, 1895, one year after the last descendant of the legendary miller died.
The beautiful small city of Chester is not far from where I grew up in England. The graceful, stone Old Dee Bridge dates back to 1387. Little did I know then, standing on the old bridge, that someday in America the Jolly Miller and the River Dee would find their way into the rhymes and stories of the Christian Mother Goose books I would write.
Here is the “Jolly Miller” from my first book:
It was King Solomon who wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:1 the words, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.”
He was encouraging generosity, especially to the poor and needy. He pictured the acts of compassion, kindness and benevolence as an adventure, cast upon “the waters of need.”
I’m sure many of you reader-friends out in Blog-land know of times when someone cast bread upon the waters of your need. It may have been a contribution of time, talent or treasure. Every hamlet and city holds such stories – if we only knew.
As for our own small town, I’ll mention just a few. There was the Jeep given to a missionary friend in a primitive, mountainous country, who had only a bicycle for transport. The Jeep saved her life in the revolution that ensued…. A commercial oven someone gave to a small start-up bakery, aptly named The Jolly Miller…. The senior citizen who gave free baby-sitting for a single mom to hold down a job.… The month’s worth of choice groceries that, unexpectedly, filled an empty pantry – King Solomon would be proud. But here’s a rather humorous personal tale:
It happened when we moved to another house in Western Colorado. I was sad when I had to leave my dining room chandelier behind me, and the new house didn’t have one. Then one day I received an envelope addressed to me without the sender’s name. It contained two hundred dollars in cash. It was in the depths of an icy Colorado winter.
Later that day I phoned Anne, my English friend, and found that, as sick as she was, she was determined to keep a speaking engagement over a hundred miles away. She planned to drive through the hazardous wintry conditions, rather than let down a Christian Women’s Conference in Southern Colorado. I knew better than to try to change her mind.
Looking at the cash in the envelope, I had a plan. I phoned the local private air service which assured me they did indeed fly a small plane to Anne’s destination – and at a perfect arrival time, too. The cost was 160 dollars and everything worked out fine.
A few days later, I took the remaining forty dollars out of the envelope and noticed a little note that simply said, “For a chandelier.” Oh, dear….My good intentions had spoiled someone’s chandelier gift. Or had it?
That evening, I drove to a department store, just to look at their chandeliers. They were mostly 200 dollars and up. And I didn’t even like the designs. However, I asked if there were any other designs perhaps in the warehouse. The kindly lady clerk took me with her to have a look. Way up high, covered with dust, were three boxes. I could see from the illustrations on the sides of the boxes that they looked very promising. So we carried them to the computer to check the prices. I was stunned when she said, “Ten dollars each, plus tax.” “Please check again,” I gasped – but they still rang up at ten dollars!
“Probably because they’ve been off the shelf a long time,” she announced knowingly. I bought all three and still had a few dollars left!
Still, I needed only one chandelier. The next week, while visiting a Christian bookstore, I heard our friend, the manager, say he wished he had a chandelier for his home remodeling job. Right then, I cast chandelier number two upon the waters. Then, a few days later, number three was sent sailing to a little house in the country where it fulfilled a lonely pioneer lady’s dream.
How that anonymous sender’s chandelier “bread” had multiplied!
On a higher, more noble note than chandeliers, I think of those devoted, compassionate men and women, who left home and country, to be cast upon the waters that took them to far off foreign lands to share the True Bread of Life – The Lord Jesus Christ.
Time and again we read in the Bible that “Jesus had compassion on” – and filled the needs of: the hungry multitude; the leper; the blind man; even resurrecting the bereaved widow’s dead son. On and on He …”went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38) – all the way to Calvary.
And there, on the Cross, He cast Himself upon the sea of humanity – the True Bread of Life God gave to save and fill every need of this fallen, helpless world.
The banquet of Heaven awaits all who are hungry and Jesus is calling, “Come and dine!”
Blessings in Him,
And a very Happy Father’s Day to every special person called “Dad.”
Christian Mother Goose®
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