|by Mrs. Vesta J. Farnsworth
A YOUNG woman accepted a position as teacher of violin in a select, private school.
She spent her last evening at home playing for father, mother, big brother, and little Ted.
After listening to selections from the great masters, brother said, "Now play the 'Home Tune.' Mother will play the accompaniment."
This tune was the girl's own composition, one she had written for those she loved best.
"Here we are sitting around the fire," she said, as she played the low, bass notes.
Brother interrupted, "Yes, and then father and mother begin to talk together."
The musician smiled. This music needed no interpretation in that home. Clearly, tenderly, came the tones, until the last floated away softly on the evening air.
The time came when a noted musician the girl greatly admired visited the school where she taught. The principal told her she must play before him and a distinguished company which had been invited.
When the appointed hour came, the girl tremblingly stood before her audience. "I will play a very simple melody called the 'Home Tune,'" she announced.
And as she played, the eager, restless group before her faded, and she saw only the dim, sweet picture of her own fireside. She saw her dear, patient father. She saw her mother. She heard big brother say, "Now I come in," and three-year-old Teddy proclaim, "An' now the fairies dance an' sing!" Then she saw them sitting quietly, dreaming before the dying embers.
The music ceased. The master violinist came to her side and asked that it be repeated. When the last notes were finished, he said:
"This music is different. I spend my life trying to find music for the hearts of the people. I find that which is brilliant, sentimental, but oh, so rarely, real. Your music plays true."
Life in the home always "plays true." There is the truest representation of real life. The merry laugh rings out. Peace and contentment are there, and joy presides. At other times, there are heartbreaking sadness and bitter weeping. Alas that there should ever be cruel anger and raging passion, bitterest sorrow and the silence of death!
"0 little homes, ye little homes of love!
God made the first home. He made it right. It was a pattern for all future earthly homes. He founded it on the marriage relation. One very good man and one winsome woman undertook the making of a perfect home. According to Will Carlton,
Strength of a man; a woman's song; laugh of a child;
Warmth of a fire; glow of a lamp; wild
The wind without, and grim the skies above.
0 little homes, set close at every hand!
Ye narrow, walled-in worlds of joys and fears,
Built of the commonplace, of smiles and tears,
Ye are the heart and sinew of the land!"
This Adam and Eve more advantages carried
Than any young couple that ever was married.
They'd a nice, cozy home, unencumbered and free,
Save a slight reservation on one little tree;...
And if, when Eve spied that large serpent one day,
She had acted the usual feminine way
And piercingly screamed, and run, reckless and blind,
As if Satan were only two minutes behind;
Then Adam, manlike, had soothed sweetly her fright,
Saying, 'What do you fear? 'Tisn't poison; 'twon't bite;'
Then, catching a club, he had towered up above it,
And promptly had pounded the devil out of it,
'Twould have saved some hot tears, some hard toil, some disgrace,
And been a great thing for the whole human race.
"So the Science of Home is the chiefest of all:
To ward off these dangers that ever befall;
To beat back these devils of discord and sin
That always are striving to steal their way in;
To use all the means God hath placed in our sight,
To keep our homes innocent, happy, and bright;
For a home that rejoices in Love's saving leaven,
Comes deliciously nigh to the splendors of heaven."
The earthly home should be a foretaste of the heavenly. The first church on earth was a home, and the home is the main pillar of the church. The home is a loving place; and if love is not there, it is unfit to be a living place.
The ideal home is a center of service, first to its own inmates, and reaching beyond them, extends its saving influence afar. In wise and uplifting ways we may share with others. Young men and women may be invited to enjoy its blessings, and thus be encouraged and strengthened to meet temptation.
One writer has said that in the word 'home' should lie the wealth of all languages, of all affections, of all virtuous joys, of all pure memories, of all innocent hopes. It is the patter of little feet, the gleeful laughter of childhood, the happy song of the maiden, the cheerful laugh of the lad, the merry pastime, the sweet vespers of evening when toil is ended, the united meal, the household stories, the music and innocent diversions, the various interests and plans revolving about a common center.
"Home for those consigned to toil, whether in office, shop, or field, is where affection gives the welcome kiss, where the home circle opens wide its arms and throws around you its golden bands of love, and hushes every sigh with words of welcome, and offers rest to the tired of body, brain, and heart. Oh, how I wish we had more homes, for then we would have a better, brighter, happier world!"
Where we love is home -
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts; The chain may lengthen, but it never parts.
A British periodical offered a prize for the best definition of home. More than five thousand answers were received, among them the following:
"A world of strife shut out; a world of love shut in."
Margaret Sangster says:
"The golden setting in which the brightest jewel is mother."
"Home is the blossom of which heaven is the fruit."
"The place where the great are sometimes small, and the small sometimes great.
"The father's kingdom, the children's paradise, the mother's world."
"Where you are treated best and grumble most."
"A home in which father and mother unite in training their children, is the one retreat on earth that gathers to itself the light of heaven."
"The ocean voyager has often seen an island lying sweet and calm, a harbor safe and serene, where storm and tempest have no power to harm. That harbor, that island, may be likened to the Christian home. Not that there are no troubles, no sorrows, otherwise we should be in heaven, to which we have no symbol which so nearly approaches the perfection of that fair land as the model home."
If things are right at home, to its inmates they are right everywhere; if things are wrong there, to them the whole world is wrong. The home life overtops and undergirds the whole of other life, whether public or private. Dr. Talmage wrote: "The highest house of Congress is the domestic circle: the rocking-chair in the nursery is higher than a throne. George Washington commanded the forces of the United States, but Mary Washington commanded George."
Calvin Coolidge, Vice President of the United States, declares:
"The destiny, the greatness, of America lies around the hearthstone. If thrift and industry are taught there and the example of self-sacrifice oft appears; if honor abide there, and high ideals; if there the building of fortune be subordinate to the building of character, America will live in security, rejoicing in abundant prosperity and good government at home, and in peace, respect, and confidence abroad. If these virtues be absent, there is no power that can supply these blessings. Look well, then, to the hearthstone. Therein all hope for America lies."...
LOVE IN THE HOME
Naught but loving hearts can make a true home. There may be wealth, honor of men, costly furnishings, plenty of things; but these never make a happy home. Nothing but love for the Father above and love for one another can bring true peace and joy to the home circle.
Sometimes there is in the heart love which remains unexpressed. This is like a world which has a sun, but dark clouds prevent its warmth and comfort shining through. If illness comes, if death divides, then love finds words and expresses itself in deeds; but it may be too late then to satisfy the hungry heart of husband, wife, or child.
A good home is an invincible armor that protects man, woman, and child in this evil world. If there is no love for home, something is wrong. In his own home a man is necessary. It is he, not another, whose coming is waited for, longed for, and grieved for. It matters little elsewhere whether he comes or goes. At home he can tell his loneliness. There he reveals his failures, and is not ashamed. There he confesses his sins, and is forgiven. He shares his inmost soul with no other but the one whom he has made queen of his heart and home.
The wife in the ideal home is quickly recognized by a brooding tenderness. She scorns to utter words of blame, and to be irritable. She will not wreck the evening's joy by careless, unloving words that cause the forehead to become anxious, and bring a mist to the eyes.
The ideal home will be more than a place to eat and drink, to work and sleep. There will be frolics and games for the children. Father and mother will plan and be a part of all their pleasures.
There will be neatness and order, pictures, books, music, - such as can be afforded, - in a home that attracts and holds. Gratitude will be felt and expressed for favors received from heaven and from one another. Gloomy moods, cloudy faces, surly manners, nagging, complaining, worrying, fretting, faultfinding, make a dwelling a haunted house from which its inmates gladly escape.
"Arise and all thy tasks fulfill,
And as thy day, thy strength shall be;
Were there no power beyond the ill,
The ill would not have come to thee.
The government of state or nation is of small importance when compared with the government of the millions of homes in our country. No administration can be so harmful as bad administration of government at home. No statesmanship can save us when lawlessness and anarchy rule there. If its homes are right, the nation prospers.
CHRIST IN THE HOME
But after all, that home which locks and bars its doors to the Saviour of men is a barren waste. It may be complete in every other sense, but the "one thing needful" is lacking, while the less pretentious, the humble home may be as a palace, because "the Lamb is the light thereof." He illumined the peasant home in Nazareth; He was its light, its joy, its burden bearer. He was welcomed to the Bethany household, and brought to it physical and spiritual life.
To many now dark and troubled homes He would bring peace and rest if His presence were welcome. Many alienated husbands and wives need His forgiving spirit, His forbearance, His love. Many broken-hearted fathers and mothers who mourn over wayward sons and daughters, greatly, oh, so greatly, need His help and wisdom. Straying children are listening for His loving call. Everywhere there are perplexed, weary souls, sick in body and mind, who need him as their Helper, their Healer. We all need Him, or life at home, in business, in the church, will be a failure. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock," He says. Shall we not let Him in?
It has been said that John Howard Payne's immortal lines should be our national hymn. We might make a worse choice.
Long ago twenty thousand people assembled in New York City to hear Jenny Lind sing. She sang selections from Beethoven, Handel, and other artists, amid the great audience was charmed by the sweetness of her voice. But suddenly she paused. The Swedish nightingale seemed to be pluming her wings of song for loftier flight. Then came in tender tones,
"'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
The vast concourse caught its breath. The people forgot where they were. Then they burst into wildest applause. The voice of the singer was silenced. Men and women wept.
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."
- J. Loton
Why? - Because "home" touches the heart as does no other theme. Home is the Inspiration Point of life. The earthly home may become as a little heaven below where preparation is made to enter the heaven above.
Two birds within one nest;
This article is chapter 1 of the book "The Real Home" and is in the public domain
Two hearts within one breast;
Two spirits in one fair,
Firm league of love and prayer,
Together bound for aye, together blessed.
An ear that waits to catch
A hand upon the latch;
A step that hastens its sweet rest to win;
A world of care without,
A world of strife shut out,
A world of love shut in.
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