As Jacob's tender, patriarchal pride
Devised a colored coat for Joseph's wear,
And ardent Hannah, yearning for her son,
Would make "a little coat," with love and prayer;
So active parents are inspired to weave
A garment to protect and shield their own.
It must have moral fiber, to resist,
And serve the needs of children not yet grown;
A goodly part of patience woven in
To ease the tensions of these modern days;
And intuition to discern the good
When error's mists would hide the better ways.
There should be selfless love to grace the path
Beside those eager, venture-loving feet;
And not condemn when youthful blunders need
Another chance, encouraging and sweet.
This garment of parental watchfulness
Must fit the wearer, neither loose nor tight;
There should be strands of joy and harmless mirth
To beautify, amuse, and show the right.
When adolescent hearts pour out their dreams—
Confide the secret longings that they hold—
Let talent of a listening ear be true
And keep those confidences safe, untold.
Such loyalty perhaps may then unlock
A frozen inwardness, release its powers.
The "little coat," so cherished, brighter grows;
More lovely with the fast-unfolding hours!
God's perfect pattern knows no shoddy threads,
No tear-stained fabric, soiled with pride or fear;
Woven upon Love's loom, the Christ ideal,
The seamless robe, intact, will then appear.

Lillian V. Byrd

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God Is Present Everywhere
December 1, 1962

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