by Henry W. Longfellow
There is a Reaper whose name is Death,
And with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

"Shall I have naught that is fair?" said he,
"Have naught but the bearded grain?
Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes;
He kissed their drooping leaves;
It was for the Lord of paradise
He bound them in his sheaves.

"My Lord hath need of these flowerets gay,"
The reaper said, and smiled;
"Dear tokens of the earth are they,
Where he was once a child.

"They shall all bloom in fields of light,
Transplanted by my care,
And saints upon their garments white,
These sacred blossoms wear,"

And the mother gave in tears and pain
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In fields of light above.

Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The reaper came that day;
'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away!


We can all help make the world better, as suggested by Annie Aldrich in these verses:

Make the world a little better as you go;
And be thoughtful of the kind of seed you sow;
Try to make some pathway bright
As you strive to do the right,
Making the world a little better as you go.

Make the world a little better as you go;
You may help to soothe some fellow creature's wo;
You can make some burden light,
As you try with all your might
To make the world a little better as you go.

Make the world a little better as you go;
As you meet your brother getting to and fro,
You may lend a friendly hand,
Lift the fallen! Help them stand!
Make the world a little better as you go.

     Just a few years ago my husband brought home a book called "Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way We Make Things," by William McDonough & Michael Braungart. My husband is a green architect at his firm and is always looking for new recycled products to share with his clients. 
     "What is it, I asked?"
     "Just guess," he said.
     I opened the volume and felt the pages. These were thin but made from something different. "Ok," he said, "I know you can't guess so I might as well tell you. This book is made from old recycled milk cartons. It is totally waterproof and will not breakdown under extreme water conditions at all." 
     My mind immediately began to race. I remembered something I had heard years ago from a visiting missionary doctor to our church from South Africa. "The people are desperate for Bibles in their own languages and the few they receive are so fragile," said the doctor. "What do you mean?" I asked him. "Where I have journeyed, paper can not easily survive the extreme environment of heat, mud, moisture, and insect infestations!" he said.
     "Doug," I asked, "How much do you think it would cost to produce bibles in this material?"
     "I don't know, but in time, someone will surely be able to do it in a cost effective manner."


      Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, at one time ambassador of Great Britain to the United States, gave the following advice to missionaries before the Fifth International Convention of the Student Volunteer Movement, held at Nashville, in 1906:

      "I beg you to consider earnestly before you go whether you are really fitted for the task before you. Do not be misled by love of excitement or adventure, or by the glamour of the East. It has a wonderful glamour, and any man of thought and feeling who has been out there will "hear the East a-calling" for many a year. But a great part of a missionary's work, as indeed a great part of the work of every profession, is hard drudgery. To master it if you are to be of any use, is itself a labor of years. Judson used often to sit and study his Burmese for twelve hours out of the twenty-four, and, as I have said, it took him  twenty-seven years to complete his translation of the Bible. That is the kind of toil you must be ready to face. I once saw a missionary attempt to convert an Afghan. His manner of doing so was to walk up to the Afghan on the road and say in very bad Persian, which was not really the Afghan's language, "Christ is the Son of God." He repeated the remark twice, receiving each time a monosyllabic answer, and then he sheered off, having apparently no more Persian at his command. This is the sort of thing which causes the enemy to blaspheme. And remember Judson's warning. Do not be tempted to spiritual pride. Do not stand aloof and condemn the diplomatist, or the administrator, or the soldier, because their lives and their views are not what yours are. They, too, know some things--some things which you can not know --and they, too, are trying to do their duty. Above all, never look down on the soldier. He may be rough and reckless at times, but he is always ready to lay down his life for his country, and all good missionaries should honor the soldier's uniform."


(The website of St. Stephen's Society and in loving memeory of Jakie Pullinger's ministry for Christ.)
      The child finds the world so complex and varied with so many unpleasant experiences that he soon discovers the usefulness of his elders in providing him with pleasant experiences or in warning or guarding him against the unpleasant whenever he feels uncertain in a new situation. That is, the child tends to fall back on the authority of the older person and automatically to accept, up to a certain point, the dogmatic verdict of his elders as to the desirability or undesirability of a course of action. Neither the child nor the grown person is, as a rule, conscious of his acceptance of the thought of another as his own, but examples of it are evident enough in the spheres of religion, politics, precedent (in law), fashion, and, in fact, all of life's activities.-- Stuart H. Rowe, "Proceedings of the Religious Education Association." 1907