A Lesson from Dusting the Stairs

[Written Especially for Children]

On page 51 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says: "If you make clear to the child's thought the right motives for action, and cause him to love them, they will lead him aright." This sentence recalls to the writer's thought how a child was once thus taught by her mother.

It was house-cleaning time and everyone was busy. The maids were wiping down the walls in the long hall, mother was overseeing the work, and Elizabeth was at the top of the stairway with a dust cloth in her hand. Mother knew that a Christian Science child should understand how to help make a home lovely and to help others to keep it so. This was the reason why Elizabeth had been given the task of wiping down the hall stairs. There were two balusters on every step, and there were a great many steps.

Elizabeth could hear the man beating a carpet out in the yard; and the sun was pouring in through the open door. She sat down on one of the steps and wished that she could go outside and play. Just then mother came through the hall and Elizabeth, talking to herself, but loud enough for mother to hear, said, "If I had a little girl I would never make her dust down the front hall stairs." Then she waited to see what would happen. In a few moments mother came up to where she was sitting and said: "Little girl, don't you see what a beautiful thing you have to do? You have a chance to use some lovely gifts from God if you wipe down the stairs nicely. These gifts are helpfulness, order, cleanliness, obedience, and joy. Using God's gifts all the time is the way to be a true Christian Scientist."

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January 6, 1934

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