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A Red Wallflower by Susan Warner

And he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father


you remember those words I once asked you about? Perhaps you do not, so I will write them down here. "The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give the peace." Those are the words.

'Do you remember what you said at that time, about the pleasure of seeing a face that looks brightly and kindly upon one? only you did not know how that could be true of God, because we cannot really _see_ His face? Well, I thought a great deal about that. You see, there are the words; and so, I thought, the thing must be possible somehow, and there must be some way in which they can be true, or the Bible would not say so. I began to pray that the Lord would make His face shine upon _me_. Then I remembered another thing. It is only the faces we _love_ that we care about seeing--I mean, that we care about so very much; and it is only the faces that love us that _can_ "shine" upon us. But I did not love God, for I did not know Him; and I knew He could not love me, for He knew me too well. So I began to pray a different prayer. I asked that God would teach me to love Him, and make me such a person that He could love me. It was all very dark and confused before my mind; I think I was like a person groping about and feeling for things he cannot see. It was very miserable, for I had no comfort at all; and the days and the nights were all sad and dark, only I kept a little bit of hope.

justify;">'Then I must tell you another thing. I had been doing nothing but praying and reading the Bible. But one day I came to these words, which struck me very much. They are in the fourteenth chapter of John:--

'"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

'Do you notice those last words? That is like making the face shine, or lifting up the countenance upon a person. But then I saw that to get that, which I wanted. I must _keep His commandments_. I hardly knew what they were, and I began to read to find out. I had been only looking for comfort before. And as fast as I found out one of His commands, I began to do it, as far as I could. Pitt, His commandments are such beautiful things!

'And then, I don't know how it came or when it came, exactly, but I began to _see His face_. And it began to shine upon me. And the darkness began to go away, And now, Pitt, this is what I wanted to tell you: I have found comfort. I am not dark, and I don't feel alone any more. The promise is all true. I think He has manifested Himself to me; for I am sure I know Him a little, and I love Him a great deal; and everything seems changed. It is _so_ changed, Pitt. I am happy now, and contented, and things seem beautiful to me again, as they used to do when you were here, only even more, I think.

'I thought you would be glad to know it, and so I have written all this long letter, and my fingers are really tired.

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