by J.R. Miller
The plates, cups, and vases we use in our homes lay once as clay in the earth, quiet and restful. Then men came with picks, and the clay was crudely torn out and beaten and ground in the mill, and pressed under weights, then shaped by the potter’s hand, then put into the furnace and burned, at last coming forth in beauty — to begin a history of usefulness. If the clay could speak, it might cry out, but the end proves that what seemed destruction — was its making into beauty and value.
These are simple illustrations of the law which applies also in human life. We must die to be a blessing. People said Harriet Newell’s life was wasted, when she gave it to missions and then died and was buried with her babe, far from home and friends — bride, missionary, mother, martyr, and saint, all in one short year — without having told one heathen of the Savior. But was that beautiful, gentle life really wasted? No! For a hundred years, her name has been a mighty inspiration to missionary work, and her influence has brooded everywhere, touching thousands of hearts of gentle women and strong men, as her story has been told. Had Harriet Newell lived a thousand years of quiet, sweet life in her own home, she could not have done the work that she did by giving her young life in what seemed unavailing sacrifice. She lost her life — that she might save it. She died — that she might live. She offered herself a sacrifice — that she might become useful. We can reach our best — only through pain and cost.
by J.R. Miller