WHAT do you think has happened? There! Aunt Joy says, "Things don't happen," 'cause this isn't a world of chance; she says that everything that comes to us comes because of our word-sowing, just as surely as the vegetables in our garden are there because Mike planted the seed for them. I used to wonder what made so many accidents happen to me, and not to Ned. I always had a scratch or a bruise; everything seemed to go out of its way to give me a bump or something. And poor mamma was always saying, "What does make my little Trixie so unfortunate?"
I don't mind telling you now — 'cause I've 'bout got over bumping and hurting myself — that I used to get awful mad sometimes and say dreadful, bad, cross words to Ned and Grace and everybody; and hit and kick back when things 'd run against me. You see, I didn't re'lize I was sowing hurt-and-bruise-seed, but I know now that I was, and I'm trying ever so hard not to sow any more.
But I started out to tell what — didn't "happen," — but — but — came to pass, you know. We always go to mamma's room first, mornings, and kiss her before we go down to breakfast, but this morning when Maggie came
to help us dress, she said Aunt Joy sent word for us to dress sweet and fresh and go right downstairs to meet a guest at breakfast, and it would be somebody we'd like to see.
Then Grace and I were wild to know who'd come, and if they came in the night, and how long they's going to stay, and we went to guessing and we guessed all our cousins and aunties, and capered 'round so that Maggie said she guessed we didn't want to know very badly or we wouldn't hinder her so. Then we tried to be real thoughtful and help, but she said we's so excited we's just like two fluttering birds. When we's ready at last, Maggie gave us each a bouquet to carry down to our guest, and said Grace looked like a pink and white apple blossom, and I like a blue and gold pansy. We just went a-flying down the stairs — till we both 'membered something and stopped, and Grace said, "Oh, Trixie! we torgot to kiss poor, dear mamma." We felt sorry and started back, but Aunt Joy heard us and called for us to come on, 'cause breakfast was waiting. We told her we just wanted to go back and kiss mamma, 'cause we'd forgot. Then Aunt Joy said in such a funny way, "Come on; you can do that any time." So we went down into the breakfast room and — mamma was there! It makes you feel so's you don't know what to think when you get such a s'prise as that. I couldn't say anything, I just went and kissed mamma. Grace stood still and looked so strangely that Aunt Joy asked, "What's the matter, Grace?"
Then Grace put her hands over her eyes and said, "Oh, Aunt Joy, do somefin' quick, to see if I'm wake or
dreamin it again; 'cause it seems like e dream."
Aunt Joy took Grace in her arms and kissed her and told her this was a very wide-awake dream, and was going to last all the time. Then she sat Grace beside mamma and they had a great time loving each other, and Grace said, "I'm so glad, mamma, it isn't a dream 'is time, cause such a lot of times you've seemed des like 'is, but I'd wake up away from it."
Such a nice time as we had! Papa was ever so happy, but he looked as if he'd been crying, and Ned seemed so unconcerned. I asked him when he found out about mamma. He looked at Aunt Joy and they both looked at mamma and smiled. Aunt Joy said she thought mamma 'd better tell us. As I looked at mamma, I wondered I hadn't noticed before how well she looked and how pink her face was getting. Then papa said she'd been changing doctors, and he s'posed we'd have to give "Dr. Ned" the credit.
Then it all came out — how Aunt Joy and Ned had been going to mamma's room every day since that time we all went and prayed together, after Ned walked; and mamma got to seeing that it wasn't God that made her sick and helpless, and that the dear Christ-presence would make her strong and well again, if she'd believe and trust it, just like Jesus said. So she was growing well all the time, but left us to discover it for ourselves. I wonder now that we didn't notice that her room was always light and airy, and that she never sent us away from her any more 'cause we "tired her so," or "her head ached so," or she felt "so nervous" — like she used to.
Grace said it seemed so easy for God to do fings now, she guessed ever'body 'd soon find it out and get well and happy. Mamma said she hoped so, for she was very sure it was not God's will that people should be sick and miserable. Papa looked at her kind o' 'stonished and said, "I wish that could be proven beyond a doubt."
Then Aunt Joy said, "What better or more assuring proof could be given than that before you now? Have not both your wife and son proven beyond a doubt what the 'good and acceptable and perfect will of God' is toward them? And if toward them, why not toward all?"
Papa didn't answer, and so Aunt Joy went on and showed papa how mamma and Ned had done exactly what Paul said, to prove God's will. Then she had papa read (Rom. 12:1-2): "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
Then Aunt Joy went on and 'splained it all so plain that even papa couldn't help but understand it. Grace wanted to know what it meant to sac-a-fice your body — 'cause she 'membered about the sheep and things that Abra'am and the folks used to kill and burn up for God. Aunt Joy said "sacrifice" was from some words that mean "to make sacred or holy," and that holy means just the same as "whole." She said God didn't care to have dead things and parts and pieces given to him; he wanted wholeness,
and so "to present your body a living sacrifice unto God" was to give him your whole undivided self.
"But folkses don't kill and divide 'emselves for Him, do 'ey, Aunt Joy?" asked Grace.
That made us all laugh, only Aunt Joy; I thought she looked real sad when she said, "Yes, Grace, few there are indeed who offer God their undivided self. It is generally considered that to offer him our souls for safe-keeping and give him one day in seven is really a very generous and acceptable service unto God."
Ned said he could see it was easy enough to give God your soul, 'cause you didn't seem to have very much use for it here, but to just give him all your — everything — mind, thoughts, body and all, might seem unreasonable till you found out how lovely it was to just be God's own, all in one bunch.
Then Aunt Joy laughed and looked at Ned in her shiny way and said, "Our young Paul is not quite so stately in his way of putting it, but he is certainly quite as vigorous and earnest as Paul senior, and has proven for himself 'what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.'" Then she told Ned if he were going to make the way very clear to another, he must follow Paul's plan and explain how this was done.
Ned said first he began to see that he had believed and trusted what folks said about him, instead of finding out and trusting God, himself. Aunt Joy said that was being conformed to or formed after the world's mind and will, instead of God's — and that just as soon as Ned began to form his mind anew with true thoughts about God and
himself, he was really giving his whole self up to Good, because if he thought true, good thoughts all the time, he must do good things all the time; and his whole body must grow alive and glad because of the sweet and joyful flowing of his constant thought, and so he had become transformed or formed anew in God, the Good.
Then papa said, "Oh, Joy! almost thou persuadest me to doubt no more."