Looking Up

There lay in a large, pleasant room of a fine old residence a young woman suffering from spinal affection, brought on by a fall upon the ice while she was skating.
She was the only daughter of a proud, ambitious, haughty man, many of whose ways she had inherited. She had been envied for her beauty, her wealth, and her position, and now here she lay, helpless and hopeless.
The surgeons had said after their examination, when she insisted upon knowing the worst:
“You may live for years, but you will be an invalid and a great sufferer as long as you live." The burden of her cry was,
“I am doomed to lie here, doomed to lie here!”
“Doomed to lie and look up!" said a timid voice one day, and turning her eyes, the sufferer saw a woman from a cottage near the village, who was moving about wiping the furniture in her room, and who, as she turned to leave, ventured to emphasize her words by a glance and a smile of sympathy.
“What can she mean by that?" the invalid thought, too surprised at the woman's presumption to be angry. "If it is meant for preaching, I will have none of it!”
The thought remained with her. She could not see the ground anywhere, but her windows looked out into a large tree; and because her eyes must rest on something, she soon became familiar with the birds who made the tree their home. She noted the shadows cast by the sunlight, and the drip, chip of the rain. She gazed up at the clouds, noted the surpassing beauty of dawn, the glory of the sunsets, and watched the first star that smiled at her with its never failing beauty.
Those who took care of her noticed, that while she did not suffer less, she ceased complaining so much, and her mind seemed to have some new occupation.
When the woman came next, with her gentle step and her dust-cloths, the girl said,
“Tell me something more about looking up.”
The woman replied:
“It is a wonderful thing to look up-to see a glorified Savior on the throne of God, and to know Him and trust Him.”
“How did you learn all this?" asked the invalid; "you who are so busy.”
“Work is a blessing," replied the woman. Then she told her the precious Gospel of God's grace to man in giving His Son to die for our sins, and she there and then believed it and the love of God was shed abroad in her heart-she was saved.
“But now," said she, "I want to tell a wonderful thing that once happened to me. I was at work for a lady, and one day when I was dusting the outside shutters, she called me to mind the baby-who was sleeping in the cradle under the trees-and she said in the kind and gracious way she always had to everybody:
“Lie in the hammock, and look up; that is what I like to do when I am tired—I look up to God—I look up and love and trust Him.'
“I did so for nearly half an hour, and did as she told me, and looked up, up, until my soul reached God.
“When the lady came back she said, `Thank you; I hope you have seen that although we each have our different duties here, the life above is for us all in equal measure.'
“Well, I went back to my work a different woman.”
And then she said to the invalid:
“You were that baby, and the gentle lady was your mother. She lived less than a year after that morning.”
From that time forth the dear young lady lay and looked up. Her whole life and conduct became Christ-like and happy. She rose superior to her circumstances, and became a witness for Christ.
“They looked unto Him and were lightened; and their faces were not ashamed." Psa. 34:55They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. (Psalm 34:5).