As Jacob's tender, patriarchal prideDevised 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 weaveA 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 inTo ease the tensions of these modern days;And intuition to discern the goodWhen error's mists would hide the better ways.There should be selfless love to grace the pathBeside those eager, venture-loving feet;And not condemn when youthful blunders needAnother chance, encouraging and sweet.This garment of parental watchfulnessMust fit the wearer, neither loose nor tight;There should be strands of joy and harmless mirthTo 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 trueAnd keep those confidences safe, untold.Such loyalty perhaps may then unlockA 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

God Is Present Everywhere
December 1, 1962

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