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In The Way
by [?]

There she was, a mischievous little girl of ten, as happy as the day was long.

“Here she is laying the foundation for health,” said the fairy, “with long hours of sleep and good food and plenty of play. One begins away back in girlhood to be a leader. Some who would have been good helpers for me cannot serve because they did not begin early enough to get ready.”

Then as the little girl played there came into the way a black, black cloud. Gladys shuddered as it came nearer and nearer to the little girl and finally enveloped her. It was death–the death of her father, but after the cloud had passed and the sunshine had come again, the fairy said,

“See, her shoulders are broader. She has learned what loneliness means.”

On she went and then she was going to High School. Others had clothes that she did not have. She must hurry to finish because there was no father in the home. So, eagerly she pushed through the High School.

Just here Gladys saw a hand reached out to help and heard a voice saying to the girl, “Of course it will be hard but you can go to college if you really want to go. It will do you good to sacrifice for it.” ‘Twas the Master of the school who was helping her to keep in the way.

“Can you see her grow?” said the fairy. “She has added concentration, an appreciation of the girl who has little and who must be with girls who have much, and now she has been given a vision.”

Then Gladys watched her toil through college, earning her way, often overtired and worried as to where the means to go on were to come from. But she pushed ahead.

“Oh,” said Gladys, “how hard she works! I could never do that. I am sorry for her.”

“You needn’t be,” said the fairy. “You need never be sorry for those that sacrifice for an ideal. Be sorry for those who have none and so who live at ease.” And they watched her struggle through temptation and toil to the graduation day.

As the college days passed, there came strength of purpose, but there came also the desire to serve. Gladys watched her lead the little group of dirty street boys in the slums.

“How can she do it?” said Gladys. “They are so dirty and so rough.”

But the fairy said, “When one wants to serve, she looks at the heart and the life–not at the clothes and the actions. The boys are helping her to keep in the way.”

And after college there were happy days. Days of love and comradeship, days of work for the fairy; days when opportunity was everywhere. And in these days of happiness there came lessons of sharing, of winning, of filling the life with sunshine. The path was so bright that it dazzled.

Suddenly, Gladys looked ahead in the path. “Look,” she said to the fairy. “Look, oh, how black it is! Oh, I am sorry.”

Then the storm descended and all was black in the way–oh, so black and to move took all of one’s strength. Against it she struggled, but it seemed as though she must surely be driven from the path. Death and loneliness and worries seemed overpowering.

But the storm passed and, when once again there was peace, a great strength had come in its place, for there was sympathy for others who suffered, there was an appreciation of the value of friendship, and there was a knowledge that God helps.

Little by little the road widened, though often it was lonely and hard. There were many steep places but each added something. And then Gladys saw the picture change.

There was Mrs. Fuller with her girls and she was leading them by the hand. But it was by no means easy. Some held back; some chose to play by the way; some looked longingly at the things by the wayside that would harm. But her one hand reached up and her other hand helped them ahead as she tried to keep them in the way.