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The Light at Even-Tide

Who is there who has not at some time or other felt the beauty of the eventide—not only seen it but felt it also? For as there comes to us at times a darkness which not only obscures the light, but that is a darkness to be felt too, so there comes to us at times a beauty that is not only seen but felt also.

How suggestive this light at even might be, if we would but give to it a little more time and thought. But we are so busy with the toil and moil of our everyday lives that the beauty passes by almost unnoticed. However, there comes perhaps an evening when we are too tired to do any more work and we can only give ourselves up to entire abandonment. The sky may be very beautiful, but our thoughts are so engrossed with the cares of earth that we scarcely notice it; but little by little that lovely sunset is shedding its softening influence upon us, and gradually our thoughts are taking a higher tone.

Let us give ourselves up to the spell of this lovely sky, as there are many thoughts to be gathered from it; thoughts that may perhaps help us through the toil and heat of days when there seems little softening influence at hand to tone clown the roughness of the way.

One thought this wondrous beauty would suggest is that it is not necessary to have one dazzling vista of brilliancy for perfect beauty and harmony. Let us look again at this sunset; do we find there one glorious sea of gold? No, far from it. Do we find there dark shadows? Yes, possibly many dark shadows, but looking again, do we not see that the most beautiful parts are just where the sunshine and shadows are blending? This is a thought to help us in life, for the ideal life is not without darkness—into each life some shadows must fall, but if when the shadows come, we can but catch the light of Heaven, even as those dark clouds catch the light of the setting sun, we shall probably find that our most beautiful and helpful clays are those where the light and the darkness are mingling.

Now our thoughts touch a still deeper note and from the light itself we wander to the origin and source of that light, and are we not filled with holy awe as we remember that we too are the handiwork of the Great Power which is guiding and controlling this mighty panorama? Ah! how we feel the truth of Wordsworth’s lines as he reminds us from whence we come:—

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home."

Oh lovely sunset sky! wrap thy beautiful influence around us and speak to us of that greater, nobler Light, that Light which no night can dim; thou, too, art mighty and powerful in influence, but after all thou art but one of the broken lights; the night must come on and darkness must envelop thee, but do thou point us to the “Light that never fails," be to us one of the many lights that guide us toward our Home!

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A. Wells

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