THE BARE FACT
The day is drenched in Thee;
In little exquisite surprises
Bubbling deliciousness of Thee arises
From sudden places,
Under the common traces
Of my most lethargied and ‘customed paces.
We have lifted the words from the human to the Divine plane, and surely even the staidest reader will forgive us this last bright excursion into the realm forbidden in a book that touches accounts. For the lovely words are true. Our common traces and accustomed paces are all glad with nothing less than that. ‘It is like watching an Invisible Accountant at work,’ said the one in whose care these matters are now, as she balanced the year’s accounts. And yet all through I have been trying to keep to the strictly prosaic, trying to make this little book as nearly proper a ‘Report’ as possible. The word sounds dull, so I have honestly tried to be dull, for it is generally understood that words that touch money should be stripped and peeled and iced if possible.
We have come now to the year’s end and so to the last of these facts of finance, and I find it hard to tell it severely. It seems to ask for its setting of mountains and bright morning sunshine, and canna beds in crimson flower, and a rose garden waking in roses, and little eager, noisy boys running in and out of it. But here is the bare fact:
Nov. 27, 1920. Felt great need of large play–room and class–room for boys. Early morning asked with Helen for what will be needed. Stepped it out. Reckoned about £300 would be required. Asked for it.
Nov. 28. Ground soft (after rain) a man to spare, dug foundations.
Dec. 17. See Nov. 27. L300 from E., who ‘would like it used for boys.’
Dec. 18. Began the new room.
Up till November 26 we had not realized this room to be a necessity. Lessons were going on in nurseries, and all seemed well; but we noticed that those who taught were getting too tired, and knew it must be the little rooms which even with open windows can get stuffy, and boys seem to need a good deal of space. So that morning we stood on one of the last empty places of the last unused corner of the square set apart for the boys’ compound, and we asked, as the note says, for ‘about £300.’ The cheque has been cashed and I cannot look up the date; but mails take just three weeks to reach us from England now, and so it must have been sent off either on or close upon November 27, the date of that prayer in the dawn.
We have finished our story of supplies. The year just closed (1920), whose accounts are on another page, has brought us gifts from givers scattered over the face of the earth; and some are very poor, and none can give without feeling it. The giver of November 27 does house–work day after day to save expenses and to make it possible to give—what does that not mean of the costlier kind of love? We look at the receipt foil again: ‘And the King shall say…Inasmuch.’
Let it not be forgotten that there have been trials of faith and may be again (so will not each reader for a moment pray that when they come we may be strong in the Lord?). And let all we have written be regarded as what indeed it is, a humble, grateful word of witness to Him in whom our days are ‘drenched’, as the little flowers of grass are drenched at this season in the white dews of early harvest, that cloud of dew in the heat that refreshes the plant that has stood in the sun all day.