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The Message Of The Mountain
by [?]

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”… “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” These were the two sentences that were neatly written on two pieces of paper on Marcia Loran’s desk and the girl sat looking at them while the minutes went steadily by. How could they be? How could a power that made the earth be also in her life? How could it be?

Marcia had always been a reader of her Bible; she had always loved her mother’s God and she loved Him now, but she was longing for help and no one seemed near to give it. And the reason for the need of this help was easy to give. The new girl who had moved into the next room had been laughing at her belief in God and Marcia knew no way to answer. She had hoped that her course in Bible at college would help her but somehow she seemed less able than ever to answer it now.

Who was God? Where was God? How could she know that these two verses could both be true? It was an honest doubt and she knew she must answer it before her mind could be at rest. She felt she could never ask the question in a letter to her mother, for mother must never know that she was questioning. Oh, if only some one knew how much she needed help!

But it was time for the picnic which the members of her class were to have, so she slipped the papers again into her Bible and went to the campus. They were to climb one of the mountains near by and dear old Professor Hastings was to be their guide. Old in years but young in heart and lithe still in limb, he stood out among the students as one of the best of the companions. As they climbed, Marcia kept near to him.

“I am looking,” he said, “for a rare little flower which grows on this mountainside. Perhaps you can help me find it. It is very tiny and it grows in the crevice of the rock. But I am needing a specimen of it for my collection.”

So together they looked in every crevice but not a bit of the little white blossom did they see.

Up, and up, and up they went. Some were tired and waited for the rest to climb and return. Some even went back down the mountainside. But when the top was reached, what a wonderful view spread out before them! Mountains and lakes and streams; villages and cities and lonely farms; beauty and calmness and majesty, all seemed to flood in at once on the minds and hearts of those who looked.

After they had rested a while, the old man lightly touched the hand of the girl and said,

“I have heard it said that one of my blossoms has been found on that cliff not far away. Will you come with me to see?”

So they began to search the cliff; then they found a hidden cave and explored that; Marcia heard a tiny stream of water trickling in the cave, and when she had found the water, she found also, close to the water’s edge, a beautiful clump of waxy white blossoms, sweet and fragrant, and hanging tightly to the rock.

“Oh! oh! Come, sir,” called the girl. “I am sure these are what you seek. Oh, how beautiful they are!” And they stooped to gather them.

But just at that moment a flash of lightning lighted the cave and the thunder rolled. In a moment the rain was coming in torrents, and the noise of the thunder as it rolled from cliff to cliff was terrifying. A giant pine tree which stood just before the entrance of the cave was rent from top to bottom and went crashing down the mountainside. The noise of the wind and storm was deafening. Pale and trembling, the girl pushed farther and farther into the cave till, crouching down, she touched something cool. It was the little white flowers.