It was a beautiful autumn evening. The sun, with its many bright shades, had sunk slowly to rest below the horizon. A slight soft wind rustled the branches of the tree, and a quiet hum of the bees and distant warble of the birds gave one an idea that just then the world was very happy and peaceful; but appearances, we are told, are sometimes very deceptive!
A crippled girl was limping down a quiet country lane; her name was Dorothy Pearson (the village shoemakers only child). She was going with a pair of shoes that her father had repaired for one of the servants at the Manor House. She trudged wearily down the lane till she reached the lodge gates, where she was surrounded by a group of boys.
"You cant go inside those gates - you are Limping Dorothy, and its only ladies and gentlemen who go in there - they wont have such as you," called out one big boy, at which the others burst out laughing, and one after the other echoed, "Limping Dorothy -- Limping Dorothy."
Dorothy, however, took no notice of them, but moved on and tried to open the gate; but it was too heavy for her, and though she tried and tried again she could not push the massive gate open. The boys stood laughing and enjoying, the fun, as they considered it.
"Ah! Dorothy, what did Tom Collings say?" cried one. "Of course you are not fit to go through that gate; tis only for the grand folk."
"But I must go up to the house with these boots. Father promised he would send them back today," Dorothy replied. "Wont one of you boys open the gate for me, please?"
Still the boys stood by laughing, not even attempting to give the help so earnestly requested. For a minute Dorothy stood leaning against the stump of a tree. Then she turned around and, facing her tormentors, said clearly, though her young voice quivered with emotion, and tears welled up into her soft brown eyes, "I would be stronger if I could. God made me frail and deformed, and though I try to feel that He knew best, it is often very hard for me to say, Gods will be done. You boys ought to be very thankful to your Maker for the health and strength He has given you; i f ever that strength should be taken away, you will know a little of the feelings of Limping Dorothy."
The boys looked and felt thoroughly ashamed of themselves, and their leader, Tom Collings, stepped up to her, saying,
"I am very sorry, Dorothy; will you forgive our unkindness? It was more thoughtlessness than anything else."
Dorothys face lighted up, as if by magic, as she replied, fervently,
"Yes, Tom, of course I knew it was only thoughtlessness. Thank you very much."
The gate was opened, and Dorothy went on her way, and performed her mission; and then amongst the trees and flowery glades Dorothy mused on the words of the boys, "You are not fit to go through those gates," and said within herself, "God grant that I shall be made fit to pass through those pearly gates at the sound of the last trump. Oh that my sins may prove to be washed away by the blood of the Lamb. Perhaps I am afflicted so that I might be an example to the more thoughtless ones, and were I not as I am, I probably should be more content with the world and its pleasures, and so give even less time than I now do to searching for the Pearl which is so priceless when found."
The God of love all things doth send, He will be with you to the end. He is not One who loves one day And then the next is far away. Trust in Him fully, and youll find Sweet comfort, peace, and love combined. - From the Banner of Truth, September, 1975