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THE ROPE HELD by ADELA ROGERS ST. JOHNS

Sometimes on sunny days, when I could see my way and feel the pathway firm under my feet, I wondered--Would the rope hold if the worst happened?

A bent old man brought me that telegram which in war years hung like a suspended sword over the heart of every mother. . . regrets to inform you that your son, Pilot Office William St. Johns . . . killed in action."

Even when he was sin flying missions over Berlin I wasn’t afraid for Bill. Nothing bad could happen to Bill. I knew it then; I know it now. That is what I have to tell you.

Returning from a Berlin raid his plane was hit. In the hours that followed, it seemed to me I could not bear it. I don’t know how long it lasted. Many hours. But prayer is God speaking to you, the answer, not the plea.

In that quiet I knew beyond anything that can ever be, beyond anything I can express, beyond any doubt that could ever attack as long as I live, with a knowing deeper than breathing, closer than the beating of my sore heart, with a clearness brighter than light, I knew my son lived.

I knew he had gone through the valley of the shadow called death, and I did not need to know what he had found at the other end. We have not been told that. Only that they are raised up, this day they shall be with Him.

The still small voice in my heart said gently, All is well with the child. What more need any mother know?

There was a sound, softer than any sound I have ever heard before, as of a door closing. I knew then that he had closed the door behind him, and what was tormenting the human me was that I wanted to see beyond that door. But I knew that though the door was closed to me, the Father was on the other side of it, too, and Bill had to be with him.

Sorrow I have. Missing my son I have always. But of grief I was healed when the Comforter told me, "All is well with the child." For who am I to say where and how my son shall live and what the Father’s business for him may be? Who am I to say that to live he must inhabit this little part of God’s universe, which is all I am familiar with, when I know he inhabits eternity? Who am I to bound his life, that is without end, by my poor little ideas of time and space? To limit his glory and his service with the chains of my human limitations?

In the twenty-five years that have passed, moments of sorrow and longing come, but now I miss him as though he had been sent on a mission to some distant place. There has never been a moment when I haven’t been as aware of his existence as I am of my own.

Sometimes I try to imagine what is beyond in that other kingdom, and what he is doing there now. I only know that he dwells in one of the many mansions in his Father’s Kingdom, and while perhaps he misses me, he,...

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