A Stream in Monday’s Desert


(from Streams in the Desert, July 30th)

What am I to do? I expect to pass through this world but once.
Any good work, therefore, any kindness, or any service I can render to any soul of man or animal,
let me do it now. Let me not neglect or defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.

An old Quaker saying

* * *

It isn’t the thing you do, dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bitter heartache
At the setting of the sun;
The tender word unspoken,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of your brother’s way,
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear;
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for,
With troubles enough of your own.

These little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind,
These chances to be angels,
Which even mortals find —
They come in night and silence,
Each chill reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging,
And a blight has dropped on faith.

For life is all too short, dear.
And sorrow is all too great,
To suffer our slow compassion
That tarries until too late.
And it’s not the thing you do, dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bitter heartache,
At the setting of the sun.

Adelaide Proctor

* * *

Give what you have; to someone it may be better than you dare to think. — Longfellow

* * *

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will be no means lose his reward.

Jesus, Matthew 10:42

* * *

(this part’s from me) As I prepare to go to bed this evening, I’m thinking about a day that began with a flat tire and is ending with hope that tomorrow will be a little better. I missed opportunities to extend kindness and grace to those closest to me. I regret the tone and volume of my voice.

I like what Anne Shirley says, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”

I’m sure there will be mistakes by the time I put myself to bed tomorrow, but I like this feeling of hope I have now for the morning and the grace that is sure to be there when I rise.

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