How Dorothy Helped the Angel by Unknown

[Illustration: "<i>We shall find plenty to do to-day</i>."]

Two angels met one misty morning in one of the Lanes of Light: one, the Angel of Encouragement; the other, the Angel of the Rainbow, who brightens things up generally.

"We shall find plenty to do to-day, companion," remarked the latter; "things are looking rather gloomy."

"Ah!" said the Angel of Encouragement, "how blessed are we who carry heaven's sunlight ever with us, and ever round us!"

[Illustration: "<i>Encourage somebody</i>."]

And then they parted.

The Angel of Encouragement entered a house where a young girl was trying to light a fire. A gray, weary day stretched in front of her, and the tears would come. Some girls of her age were still at school. She was a girl with ambitions; many a rosy castle of fancy had been built by her, but built only to vanish.

The angel bent over her, and whispered: "Try to encourage somebody to-day." And thinking it was her own inner self that had spoken, she answered, "Yes, perhaps that is the wise way after all."

[Illustration: "<i>Cheer up</i>."]

Directly breakfast was over a postcard had to be taken to the letter box for mother. The angel's thought had brought a bright light into the girl's face. A little fellow was coming towards her, and he was crying; the school bell had awakened fears. Instantly her arm was round his neck.

"Cheer up! It will soon be going-home time."

"Will it?" asked the child, and his sobs ceased.

"Yes. I felt like crying this morning. But it's better to be brave."

A business man was hurrying along, but paused to watch the work of comforting. His heart was heavy, too, but her words: "It will soon be going-home time—it's better to be brave," like a sweet chime, kept with him all the day.

[Illustration: "<i>Hope on</i>."]

As the girl re-entered the house a song was on her lips, and a tired woman turning a washing-machine next door caught it. She looked round her—there was such a heap of work to do—and dinner to think of for husband and children. No wonder there was a worried look on her face.

"Hope on! hope on! Though long the road and drear. Hope on! hope on! The sunlit hours are near."

[Illustration: "<i>Broke the
crust</i>."]

It was Dorothy Cummins singing! "Hope on!" The woman began to sing too. "The sunlit hours are near!" The washer went faster. The woman's face caught a gleam from the coming sunlight. "Hope on! Hope on!" It would yet be possible to get all the clothes out before noon.

If she had looked into her neighbor's back garden just then she would have seen what the singer did. A little brown bird was vainly pecking away at a crust lying under a tree. Then the singer came, with soft, quick steps, and broke the crust into crumbs. The sunlit hour had come for the bird.

And it even came for Brother George at dinner time. Joy bells did not always ring when he and Dorothy were in close quarters. To-day his sister remarked, as she looked over his shoulder at some exercise papers in his hands: "What a nice writer you are, George. Father couldn't write a bit better than that, I'm sure."

"Don't you make fun of a fellow."

"I'm not. I mean it."

[Illustration: <i>"I mean it.</i>"]

It is strange, but true, words of praise do not often come in our way. The sunlight dazzled George just at first, but when he had grown familiar with it, he called out just before going off to school again: "I say, Dorothy, don't you go chopping that wood. I'll do it when I come back again. Wood chopping isn't in a girl's line." He even shut the door so quietly that the mother at work at her machine did not know that he had gone—the mother who had to work so many hours in order to make ends meet during the husband's long illness. Her face looked very sad as she bent over her work, but such a change came over it as the door opened and the little housekeeper came in, bearing a cup of tea and a thin slice of bread and butter, laid daintily on a little tray.

[Illustration: <i>"I'm not tired now."<i/>]

"Why, Dorothy, what have you got there?"

"A cup of tea for you, mother, and you are to drink it, and to be sure to eat the bread and butter. I saw how little dinner you ate. I was watching you, and you did look so very tired and worn." "But I'm not tired now," said the mother, "not a bit of it. Why," lifting up her face from the teacup, "your loving care has strengthened me already."

"I shall be able to help you a lot after tea," said Dorothy, before returning to her kitchen duties.

As soon as they were over, and she had changed her dress, she peeped into her father's room to see if he was sleeping.

"Dear daddy," said she, stroking his white brow and smoothing the pillow, "you will soon be better now."

"How does my little one know that?"

"Because the doctor generally goes away frowning, but to-day he actually had a smile on his face. Daddy"—with a sudden movement, as though she had just thought of something—"shall I read you something? I have nothing to do before tea."

"Do, my darling."

The twenty-seventh Psalm was read in a soft, low voice.

The sick man's eyes were riveted on the reader's face. "Child, what made you read that Psalm?"

"Because, daddy, it's one of my favorites. Did you like it?"

[Illustration: "<i>The twenty-seventh Psalm</i>."]

"Yes." Then in a still lower voice, "I must tell you this, for God has been so good to me. I have prayed all day that He would send me some sign or message. And then you bring me words that have put new life into me. 'I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.' 'Be strong, and let thine heart take courage.' Child," and there was a glad ring in the voice, "you have been doing angel's work."

Twilight was filling the valley when again the angels met. "How has your work fared to-day, companion?" asked the Angel of the Rainbow.

"My work has sped well to-day, for a girl in a lowly home, just along the path of her daily life, has helped me greatly. Ever so many times during the hours of light she has started, here and there, the sweet chiming bells of hope."

"Ah," said the Angel of the Rainbow, "now I understand how it was they sounded so much clearer to-day, and why my colors were so bright. Did you see the lovely bow I threw across from hill to hill, and then a second one, the rays gleaming all down the cliffs? Did they not make you think of the Rainbow round the Throne? It is only as I catch hope's glad singing rising from the byways below that I can paint my brightest colors."