The Protective Hand
By Lillian Miller
The confused Iium of conversation
drifted over the long white-clothed
tables. The shade of two maples shift
ed with the slight breeze that moved
with the tone of women’s talk of chil
dren, flowers, and weather. Men in
little groups, stood in the shade’ of
the country church with the rusted
metal roof to argue over country poli-
tics and lament the grass in the pastures
that the long draught was killing for
A tall woman with hands that told
of her capability in the kitchen and
gaiden allowed a thought that had rest
ed on her face to he voiced to three
od.ers who were removing cakes and
jiies from boxes and placing them on
table already filled. “Have you ever
in all your days seen such a long dry
spell? If ,t don’t rain before "loni
don t know how people are goin’ to
had “"ik tl'e situation
liad walked the paths of thought in
several other minds was clin.axed 1 v
agreeinent in tones of womler and
Mrs. Wiles,” questioned an older
woman with a face of genuine concern
and eyes of kindly gray, “I wonder
if we as a people have sinned against
the good Lord, and He’s tellin’ us we
ought to repent?” This statement hll
enough impact to cause a pensive sil
dice to fall over the discourse of those
who had heard.
Any replies that might have heci'
given were hushed by the sound of th
preacher’s voice as he lifted his ban**
in a protective slant to the cool ai'
above the hunihle heads of those wli
stood, silent, with heads bowed. Hi'
words, deep with sincere gratitiuk
lirayetl for humility and forgiveness ^
sin. He asked God to take their hodi^
and use them, and the food that ha'
lieeii prepared, for the furtherance
tlis kingdom to all the earth.
Drum-sticks and biscuits were giV'
to the smaller children with aiiipi'
sprinklings of caution about the nuts'
ing of their Sunday suit.s. W/bind
jiraised the fine texture of the choca
ate cakes and the high meringue a
tl>e lemon pies. Men piled plates hi?'
with colorful potato-salad, cliicke"
and at least three pieces of cak'
le .subjects of previous conversatio"
were magnetic enough to draw the"
to sliady spots while laughter sho"'
ironi contented eyes.
After the food was cleared awav tl'
congregation gathered to continue thd
in *^*11^*1 showers of hie-
ig, O Lord,’ was the prayer of
•simple trusting man who stood aiiu"'
IS people. The old organ sounded a"
the congregation began to sin-. “Bles--^
Assurance, Jesus is mine . T .” Fre'
•e open window came the sound ‘
l aceful ram falling upon the hea-^
these p.mple and their land.
Silver fr,,.. ,i,
Aii.l w.mer win,I, „alle,l ,„,,]ie
—By Lillian Mill*^'