2/22/51 - To The Beautiful Sun BY-WAYS - 2/22/51 - To The Beautiful Sun


God's lamp in the heavens, shining bright.
Swung low on the winter solstice;
You tell us that Spring is advancing with might,
and oh, how that signal exalts us!

Yes, after a long, hard winter, the sun - on this 15th day of February - has burst forth in a brilliant smile. Mother Nature, taking the hint, has whisked off her white blankets, laying them on a shelf near by, just in case. But here's hoping they can soon be put in storage 'til next November. Or, better yet, December. In this beautiful Lenten season there is such a wealth of material of a spiritual nature that I would like to share with you - I hardly know where to begin, or what to select.

Letters from a young Presbyterian minister - on sabbatical leave from his church in Austin, Texas, have priority at the moment. Rev. John Lewis (or "Jack," as he signs his letters), his wife, and four children took off for Scotland last June. What a great adventure it has proved to be! Sister Mary sent me Rev. Lewis' first letter; I was so enthusiastic about it that she had her daughter, Ellen, send me all the ensuing letters. I wish you all could read them, too. Here is a happy, lively, family, delighting in every new experience - from the fine, well-ordered circus in Dundee, Scotland to the long drives through the heather and along the famous lochs. The father - just a boy grown tall - has tried everything from golf at the famed St. Andrews course, to riding in a glider. He already has a pilot's license, but the glider was a new experience. Before I get away from the family, whose ages range, I would say, from three to twelve, I want to tell about George, the 9-year-old. George had his ninth birthday on July 15. He went to a show with a couple of friends who came back with him for supper. His parents gave him a suit, and his "Gran" sent him one to buy a "Chanter," which, as his father expressed it, is the business end of a bagpipe. At bedtime "the little guy" hugged his parents, kissed them on the cheek, thanked them for a wonderful day - then asked to be wakened at 11 p.m. "Why on earth," they asked, "do you want to get up at that hour?" "I just want to thank God for me being born." (Lubbock, Texas, 11 p.m. July 15, 1941). Isn't it glorious when a child is so happy and in love with life that he is grateful for his life on this earth? And that he turns to the Source of all life and goodness and truth, and gives thanks?

The purpose of this trip, I take it, is to study under great men - to get to know God and His plan for mankind as fully and completely as it is humanly possible. One item in this schedule was the solo trip to the Isle of Iona, set at the western extremity of the Hebrides group of islands, separated from Labrador and the Western Continent by 2,000 miles of uninterrupted ocean. A great missionary by the name of Columba, with twelve of his disciples, came here from Ireland in 563 A.D. He was concerned with the welfare of men's bodies as well as men's souls. Religion was Life; all life was holy, indivisible, the province for the fulfillment of the grace of God. Living was a sacrament, to pray was to work; to work was to pray. He and his followers set up missions that were concerned with the integration of the spiritual and the material. Through these 1400 years - through religious conflicts and changing peoples - that spirit and that purpose has never been lost. Rev. Jack Lewis went there to learn, to work, to pray, and surely came away renewed like the eagle in spiritual vision and strength. If the Perfect One had need to go apart into the wilderness to pray, how much more need have we?" Let us each do it this Lenten season.

Faithfully yours,
Florence B. Taylor

Next - 3/1/51 - Learning to Pray
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