are the "shut-ins" of God's flower kingdom,
Hidden in the mossy dells
and cool retreats;
Their lace-like fronds uncurl in fresh, green beauty
from the busy world and dusty streets.
They bear no
gorgeous flowers of gold or crimson,
No dainty blooms of blue or pearly white;
graceful leaves exhale no strong, sweet odor,
Their very seeds are hidden from
And yet, sometimes, to eyes that tire of
To senses sated with the rich perfume,
How grateful is the cool
green of the fern-leaves
Set in the silence of some shaded room.
we not learn from them some blessed lesson,
We, who, like them, are growing
in the shade?
Their lovely freshness is a constant beauty,
Dewy and sweet
when summer blossoms fade.
When others come, who,
dwelling in the sunshine,
Have grown a-weary of the toil and strife,
we not share with them our calm and quiet -
Show them the beauty of a hidden
May we not give to them some tender message,
of the garnered peace we hold in store,
Some of the songs God giveth in the
When sleep flies from us and the pain is sore?
walk with hurrying steps Life's busy highway,
Often the still, small voice
they cannot hear;
But we can listen in the restful stillness
Its words of
faith and hope and gladsome cheer.
We dwell in safety
in our Lord's green pastures,
Our souls at rest the quiet waters by;
to be since we may not be doing,
Living epistles, open to the
Our frail lives hidden in His strength eternal,
and shielded from the tempest's shock,
The wild winds pass us by - they cannot
Where we are sheltered by our Fortress Rock.
perhaps, the ferns may long to blossom,
Even as we to see our work's reward;
of the stillness and the shadow,
Envy the roses on the sunny sward.
we say, "the dust and heat would kill them,
That sweet, cool shadow is
their very life,"
Yes - and, God knows, perhaps our spirit's beauty,
like them, wither in the great world's strife.
He doth keep us, set apart in shadow,
Far from the lovely garden's sunny sod;
why He does it we shall know hereafter,
"Be still," He says, "and
know that I am God!"
Can we not trust our loving
To do the very best that can be done,
Though one be planted
in the glowing sunlight,
Set in the silence and the shadow - one?
we content to say our word in secret,
Content to wear our garb of sober green,
while the world is praising other workers,
Our tiny seeds cast out, though
We may not show our love and zeal by labor,
hands are folded, though they tire of rest;
Fettered the feet that fain would
run His errands,
Willing and swift. But yet, He knoweth best
the conditions which will suit our growing,
Just the environment we best may
For the green ferns the cool depths of the forest,
And for our shade
the "shadow of His hand."
By Annie Johnson
Miss Flint suffered from
arthritis for over 40 years.
91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the
most High shall abide under
the shadow of the Almighty.
51:16 And I have put my words in thy mouth,
and I have covered thee in the
shadow of mine hand...
32:2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind,
and a covert from
the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry
place, as the shadow of a great rock
in a weary land.