Signs of the Times

["The Valley of Baca"—The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, U.S.A., January 13, 1921]

When Charles Dickens drew the character of Mark Tapley, who was always looking for a condition sufficiently dismal and univiting to enable him to "come out strong," but who invariably found that his own kindly disposition changed every depressing circumstance in which he found himself into an agreeable one, he may have caught some glimpse of what the psalmist meant when he wrote, "Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well," or, as the Revised Version gives it, "Passing through the valley of weeping they make it a place of springs." Human history abounds with instances of men and women who, when conditions seemed hopeless and every one around them had yielded to the mesmerism of depression, or even of despair, have manifested a faith and courage so sublime that it has saved the entire situation. Indeed, it may be said that the test of an individual's unselfishness is his ability to change the valley of Baca into a well, for this implies some understanding of what the Master meant when he said, "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

March 12, 1921

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