DR. GOOD was here today — he's papa's preacher; he wanted to see Ned, so Aunt Joy called us all into the parlor.
Dr. Good's so slim and straight, and his voice is so s-l-i-m and s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t, and he talks so much about the narrow, "s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t way," you always feel's if he's the only one straight and narrow enough for it. He said, "E-d-w-a-r-d, I hear you have had a very m-i-r-a-c-u-1-o-u-s cure, and I have come to see if it is true."
Ned showed him how true it was by walking across the floor and then standing in front of him and straightening himself up to show how strong and well he was. And I tell you, he looked grand!
Dr. Good looked at him, and then took off his glasses and wiped 'em — he always does that when he doesn't know what else to do — then he said: "Well, 'E-d-w-a-r-d, they say you were cured without any external means." "Yes," said Ned; "God did it."
"Certainly, my child; but we recognize that God works through means, do we not?"
"I s'pose that's the way most folks think, but you see, they worked eight years at me with 'means,' and God
didn't seem to work through 'em at all. Leastwise, I didn't get well. But soon's I tried God without 'em, you see, he showed he could do best alone."
Dr. Good actually drew his voice up quick and said: "Child, do you realize what you say?"
"Oh, yes!" said Ned, "it's having one God and trusting him for everything just like Jesus did. That's what'll fetch it every time."
Dr. Good wiped his glasses a long time, and I thought Aunt Joy smiled. At last Dr. Good said: "E-d-w-a-r-d, I am glad you trust God, but I must warn you against irreverence; we must not use his holy name lightly."
"Oh," said Ned, "you don't think Jesus Christ was irreverent, do you? Jesus was always talking about God that way — and he called him his Father."
"You must not forget, E-d-w-a-r-d, that Jesus Christ was his well-beloved Son, and we should approach God through his Son, for everything is promised us for Christ's sake," said Dr. Good.
"That's just what I did," said Ned. "You know Jesus said we must all call God our Father, and that he loved one just as well as another. Well, you, see, when I really saw that I was his Son as well as Jesus, I felt awful glad, for I knew then he'd do just as much for me, if I'd give him a chance. So I believed in him — just like Jesus did; and sure enough I called him 'Father!' that way, and told him I wanted to be cured. O, I can't tell you how it was, but I knew how then, and ever since I feel him in everything. And you see, he did cure me."
I never saw Dr. Good not sit still before. He wiped his
glasses and looked at his watch and took out his pencil, then he said: "E-d-w-a-r-d, is it possible you consider yourself equal with Jesus Christ?"
He made me feel cold when he said that, but Ned didn't seem to notice it at all; he just said: "I don't seem to think of it that way. I just seem to know that God is the Father of the real Me, and since I know it, that part of me seems to grow so fast it crowds out the old-'fraid-sick part, and I don't feel a bit like I used to. Don't you think that's 'putting on Christ,' Dr. Good?"
Dr. Good seemed to think someway that Ned was too familiar with God, and said something about the Adversary's being so cunning and ready to deceive us into believing strange things.
Grace's eyes just blazed, and she walked up to Dr. Good and asked him if he didn't b'lieve God was everywhere.
He said, "Why, of course, little one."
"Then can't He keep 'e Sara off?"
"The adversary, do you mean?"
"Yes," said Grace. "If God's ever'where, what you 'fraid of?"
"Afraid of displeasing Him. Are you not afraid of displeasing God?"
"No," said Grace. "God's love. Don't you know God's love, Dr. Good?"
"Yes, God is love; but my Bible says, 'He is angry with the wicked every day' (Psalms 7:11)."
"Well, your Bible's made a 'stake—'cause ours says God's love," said Grace.
"Do you believe God loves evil, little one?"
"Don't fink He knows 'bout it," said Grace.
"Don't know about evil? Who teaches you such strange doctrine?"
"O I teached it to my 'chef, 'cause when I love, I des cant' be mad or see bad in folkses. So if God's all 'e time love, how's he going to be badder 'an me?"
Dr. Good turned real red and shook his head, and said if we'd all come to Sunday morning service, he'd tell us all about "The Divine Plan."
Then he told Aunt Joy to send us out, as he wished to see her a little while alone.
Aunt Joy's eyes twinkled when she said to us, "Go and play now."
I'd like to have heard what they said, 'cause he told papa that Mrs. Gray (that's Aunt Joy) was one of the most shocking persons to quote Scripture he ever heard, and us children had imbibed such ideas of God, he was just sure something terrible would overtake us.
Aunt Joy just laughed and said: "If what Paul says be true, we are compelled to be familiar with God — for in him we live and move and have our being — and we can't help ourselves."
We had another visitor today — old Dr. May. He's the doctor papa has when somebody's awfully sick — 'cause everybody says he's wicked and don't believe in God.
Dr. May wanted to see about Ned's getting well, too, so we all went into the parlor again.
If Dr. May is wicked, he always looks happy and makes you feel good.
When he saw Ned walk and examined him all over and
found him all well, he wanted Ned to tell him all about it. So Ned did.
I think there was 'most tears in his eyes when Ned got through, and he said: "Well, my boy, it is a wonderful cure, no one can dispute that. I've known all about you ever since the sickness that left you a cripple, and know we have all tried in every way we could to help you out of it, but to no purpose. Now you are healed, by what agency is beyond my range of study — call it God, if that pleases you. But don't you think," he asked, smiling, "that you're making him a little more practical than the good folk allow nowadays? You know God hasn't done anything for the last thousand years, according to official doctrine."
Grace got so close up to Dr. May and looked so earnestly at him that he caught her up and asked what her wise little head thought about it.
"Does you fink God is dead?" asked Grace.
"Well, to be honest with you, little one, I have serious doubts about His ever living," said Dr. May.
'"En, who makes fings?"
"Why, they just grow, don't they?"
"Yes, but what grows 'em?" asked Grace.
"Why, Mother Nature, of course, you little interrogation point," said Dr. May, laughing at her sober face.
"I never heard of her tofore. Is she God's wife, Aunt Joy?" asked Grace.
Aunt Joy said she guessed we might as well call her Mother-God, and then we could better teach the doctor who Father-God is.
Then Dr. May laughed and said Aunt Joy was bound to help Grace get the best of him.
Grace clapped her hands and laughed. 'Course, Dr. May, if you've got a mover you must have a faver. Don't you see?" said Grace, triumphantly.
"Why, people mostly have fathers, but my father's dead, see?" said Dr. May, pretending he didn't understand what Grace meant.
"I don't mean im, he's your papa. I mean 'e Faver who finks you and loves you all 'e time."
"You're too deep for me now. A Father who thinks me and loves me. Don't I think myself, and don't all sweet little girls like you love me?"
"Yes, but your Faver-God's all fink and all love, and he's ever'where, he is."
Then Dr. May asked Grace if she didn't think it would keep Him pretty busy getting round.
Grace looked kind o' puzzled and then said: "Oh, you see, He's like 'e air and sunshine, he's just 'ere 'ithout goin.' "
The doctor laughed and said: "If that's the case, we're all provided for in your God-philosophy, 'Wee Wisdom.' "
"You see, Dr. May," said Aunt Joy, "that these children know only the living good — the eternal, unchanging, intelligent Principle lying back of all expression, the Father-Source of all that is manifest."
Then Dr. May and Aunt Joy talked a long time about God and his Son.
Dr. May asked us such a lot of questions, and we told him the way we learned to be so happy and what Grace
said about the little "seed's know," and how we kept our Father's likeness in our thoughts. And when he went away, he said he'd learned the best lesson of his life, and he intended to get well acquainted with our God as he possibly could.