Three Needles

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
A Word To Those "Laid Aside"
I have sometimes fancied to myself a comparison between three needles as to their different kinds of work.
First there is the Mother's Needle.
What a busy life is has! Mending and making, patching and stitching—a button on here, and a tape there. Why, the mother's needle, small though it be, keeps all the house together! "Surely," some might be inclined to say: " no needle can have such a useful life as this!"
But there is another needle. It is a Telegraph Needle.
If you have ever sent off a telegraphic message, you have probably stopped and seen it busy on the dial, working with lightning speed, and ticking off the letters of the messages sent and messages received to and from all parts of the world, as if endowed with life and reason. "Ah!" somebody says: "this is, after all, the most wonderful and the most useful needle in the world!"
Wait a moment, my friend! Here is a third needle. It is shut up in a little glass cell, all by itself. It cannel work actively, like the mother's needle, as she makes the most of odd minutes to sew and to mend. It does not fly from point to point, like the telegraph needle, every moment carrying important tidings from kings and courts and governments, and from one place to another. Its whole work is that of pointing true. It might say to itself: What am I doing here, all by myself, and other needles so active? How can a solitary thing like me be of any good?" And yet, millions of lives preserved, ships going from port to port in a safe course, thousands and tens of thousands of homes, to which fathers, husbands, and brothers return in peace from voyages round the world, owe all to that little needle of the Mariner's Compass, quivering with intensity in its one work of pointing faithfully to the North Pole.
And so you, dear friend, may be tempted to fancy you can be of little use now. Once, perhaps, you could "do so much"; but your circumstances have changed. Health, openings for usefulness, surroundings of opportunity, are yours no longer, though you long for " active service." But if you are Christ's, remember you can never be out of service; and that your work is, in your life, in your words, in your very countenance, to be pointing true—pointing all around you to an unseen Savior, towards whom go out your heart's longings, and who has said: "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me!"
If those around you, those in your own home, can discern that you have a Friend whom, not having seen, you love; a Savior in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice; if they see that He enables you to suffer cheerfully, to look forward joyfully, to trust in the dark, and at all times, you are doing good service, trained service, bravest service, for your Lord and King—you are POINTING TRUE.