Easter Flowers



OLD as creation itself, yet new every spring-time! The coming forth from the dull, gray earth of the fresh, green grass, the putting out of the leaves, and the opening of the flowers.

And more than eighteen hundred times have the followers of our Lord Jesus Christ welcomed Easter Sabbath, which still comes to us with its fresh, new joy each year. It comes with the first spring flowers, and we welcome its dawning, bringing into God's house flowers from forest and greenhouse. Claribel had been watching her one rosebush for many days, with hope and fear. But her hopes were fulfilled, and on Easter morning she found one full-blown rose. With this single offering she started for church.

"Claribel," said her mother, "will you have time to go around by Mrs. O'Niel's, and leave this jelly and blanc-mange for Kitty? She liked that which I took to her Friday so much that I would like her to have some more today. I've put in a bottle of tea. The doctor says if she can have something to tempt her appetite, and to take her mind from herself, she may get well again."

"There's plenty of time," said Claribel. "I'll walk fast, and it is an hour to the time Miss Clark told us to be there with the flowers."

And Claribel tripped away with her little basket of dainties for her sick school-mate, and her treasured rose. She stopped a moment to speak to Kitty, and tell her that mamma had sent her something nice for her Sunday dinner. But Kitty had only eyes and thoughts for the beautiful rose which Claribel had in her hand.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, "what a sweet rose!"  “Isn't it!" returned Claribel.

"You know it is Easter morning, and I am going to take this to the church!  Miss Clark told us to bring all we could get, and she will fix them. I had only this one, but it is so beautiful that I think it will make up for there only being one."

"Will you let me hold it a minute?" asked Kitty. Claribel rather unwillingly gave her treasure to Kitty for a moment. If anything should happen to it!

"Oh, if I could only see the flowers!" said Kitty, with a weary sigh. "But I don't suppose I shall ever see another rose."

Suddenly there flashed through Claribel's mind what her mother had said about Kitty's having something to take her mind from her own pain and sorrows, and the thought followed, what if she gave her the rose? Would it help? Kitty seemed to enjoy just holding it in her hand for a few minutes. Should she leave it? Could she go to church without a single flower? She had looked forward to this morning so eagerly, and watched so anxiously the budding of this rose. She had welcomed its opening with such joy, could she leave it here instead of taking it to the house of God, as she had meant to? Was it not a way of showing her love for Christ, bringing flowers to his house on this morning, when his resurrection was to be celebrated? These thoughts darted through Claribel's mind, and there followed another, even the words of Christ himself, uttered long ago, "I was sick, and ye visited me;" and she said, with a lump in her throat:—

"Kitty, one little flower won’t be missed very much, and you may have the rose."

"O Claribel, how good you are! If I get well, and I do believe I shall, I'll do something nice for you. This will make me happy all day." Claribel hurried away. She was afraid she would cry and spoil everything. Not that she was sorry she had given away the rose, not at all! But there was a sharp pain for a few moments over the thought that she had no Easter offering to bring.

Had she but known it, she had brought more than they all. I am afraid that Miss Clark herself could not have willingly given away her beautiful bouquet of rare greenhouse flowers, which she had bought out of her ample allowance. She and the girls wondered a little that Claribel had no flowers, for they knew about her rosebush; but the little girl did not tell of her unselfish deed. But she always told her mother everything, and when they were settled down for their Sabbath afternoon talk, she told of her visit to Kitty. Mamma's eyes filled with tears, but she asked

"Claribel, why didn't you take your rose to church, and have it sent to Kitty afterwards? You know the flowers are often sent to the sick people in the village."

"I know, but you see Kitty would have had to spend all the long, lonesome day twithout anything to comfort her. The flowers are to be distributed tomorrow morning, and I will ask Miss Clark to send Kitty some. My little rose will be wilted by that time."

And thoughtful little Claribel was the bearer of Miss Clark's pretty bouquet the next morning. "Kitty had the most comfortable day yesterday that she has had in a long time," said Kitty's mother. "I thought in the morning she would have a hard day, but your visit seemed to set her right up; she just lay with the rose in her hand or on her pillow all day, and the doctor said last night that he had more hope of her than at any time since was taken sick."



The Pansy.



Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.  In it thou shalt not do any work….

Exodus 20:8