Short Stories » A Story of Faith
SOME years ago a lady removed from Utah to California to join her father, for she was a widow with little children, and in the struggle to provide for them by her own labor, her health was gone, and she gladly turned to the parent who offered to help her.
After a few months, feeling her strength somewhat restored, she decided to take some mechanics as boarders, as she could thus relieve her father of his kind obligation, and yet be within his protection.
Sometimes at the end of the week there was not much money left to go on with, but her credit at the store next door was good, and so she kept on, hoping for better times, while still thankful to be able to eat the food of her own earning.
The winter had been unusually rainy, the streets were shining with little currents of muddy water, and the children were kept in-doors. One Monday morning her little boy, awaking from his sleep at her side, asked: " Mamma, when will I have a pair of boots? I have wanted them so long." The mother's heart ached, for she knew that the poor things she tied on his feet every morning were no protection, though they had once been good shoes though of course even the best of shoes do not last forever. But she answered, consolingly: "You must be very good and prayerful to get those boots, darling. I have only enough money to start the week with, but I hope to get them for you soon." " Yes, mamma," he answered, as she kissed him, and then rose from her bed to go and cook breakfast for the men.
After she passed into the hall, a little noise arrested her steps. Was he covering his head to cry with disappointment? As she softly turned back to the door ajar, she saw that he had slipped out of bed and was kneeling beside a chair, and prayed : " O Lord, my heavenly Father, I do want a pair of boots; I have wanted them so long, red-top boots, and my mother has so little money ; won't you please send me a pair ? Amen." The little boy opened his eyes in faith, looked up to the ceiling, all around his chair, first on his knees and then standing, and a shade of disappointment crossed his face. In another moment he had decided. " He knelt down again and shut those blessed eyes and said his prayer over once more," said his mother, and she turned away with a heart full of painful emotions and went silently to her kitchen. Just as breakfast was ready, one of the boarders entered the room and went directly to her.
" Mrs. Cole, if you will accept of them, here is a pair of boots, a New Year's present for your little boy." She thanked him and opened the paper, and her heart leaped to see a pair of red-topped boots! " Come here, pet," she called, and the little fellow obeyed quickly, giving a cry of delight as he saw the gift. Trembling with joy, he hastened to pull them on, but they were too small ! Choking with grief and disappointment, he cried, brokenly : " O Lord, when you knew the size of my feet, why did you send the boots too small ? " Almost as he spoke, another of the boarders came in, and, not seeming to notice the group around the boy, addressed the mother as the first one had done. Thanking him also, she tore off the wrapper, and there was another pair of red-topped boots a size larger, and in one leg a pair of light red woolen stockings. As the little fellow fairly got into them, he lifted up his happy face, all smiles and tears, saying: " Oh, He remembered those were too small and sent these right after! "
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