Meggie grinned when she heard her father's booming voice echoing through the house. He loved that hymn and this morning he sang it with gusto. She peeked around the doorway of her room. There was Daddy, standing at the end of the hall with his back to her and his arms raised. When he came to the chorus, his hands curled into fists and a triumphant tone entered his voice, "It is well, it is well with my soul!"
Meggie giggled and Daddy whirled around, grinning. "Sing with me, Meggie!" Laughing, Meggie ran to her father and leaped into his arms. Adding her soprano to his baritone, they finished the hymn on a perfect note.
"Well! Isn't this a grand start of the day?" Mommy had come from the kitchen to listen to them. Meggie reached for her mother's embrace. "And how's my Meggie this morning?"
"It is well, it is well with my soul!" sang Meggie before scrambling down. She took her mother's hands and the two of them danced a little jig. Her parents laughed with her, then her father picked her up again and headed for the kitchen.
After breakfast, Meggie did her morning chores. As she ran the dust cloth around the places she could reach, she sang snatches of that hymn as well as of others. When she came to a window, she looked out and saw a little squirrel eating a walnut on the neighbor's patio. She laughed at the way his little mouth moved as he shelled the nut. Suddenly, the neighbor, old Mrs. Higgins, came out with her broom and shooed the squirrel away. Meggie sighed in disappointment and watched the old woman go back into her house.
Mommy had told her that the reason why Mrs. Higgins seemed so mean was because she was sad. Meggie didnít understand why someone could be sad until Mommy told her that some people didn't know Jesus. It made perfect sense to Meggie. She knew that Jesus was the reason Mommy and Daddy were happy people.
Meggie helped her mother throughout the day, and as a reward for her hard work, Mommy let her play outside in the afternoon. She brought her dolly with her and started to sing to it as she set up "tea" for the two of them. A harsh voice startled her, "Young lady, would you please stop singing that song? If I hear one more 'it is well,' I will scream!"
Meggie dropped the acorn cup she had been holding, and turned to see Mrs. Higgins on the other side of the chain-link fence. "You don't like it?
"I most certainly do not." Mrs. Higgins thumped her cane on the ground.
"Why not?" asked Meggie as she picked up her doll and cradled it.
"Because, I do not know one person whose soul is well. This world is too hard."
"Oh, but my soul is well, and so is my mommy's soul and my daddy's soul." Megan took a step closer to the woman. "Mommy says that you are sad. Is it because your soul is sick?"
"What on earth are you talking about?" Mrs. Higgins drew her brows together, looking quite fierce.
Megan scrunched her nose as she thought of a way to help her neighbor understand. "Sometimes my tummy gets sick and I have to take medicine to make it well. Maybe you need to take medicine to make your soul well, too."
"Humph." Mrs. Higgins peered at Meggie. "And what would that be?"
Meggie thought back to earlier that morning. One thing she always felt when she thought of her parents was love. She loved her mommy and daddy so much that it hurt sometimes because she couldn't hold it all in. She came right up to the fence and softly said, "Love. I love my mommy and daddy, and they love me too!"
The old woman stared at Meggie a moment, then she seemed to sag. She said, "Nobody loves me."
"Jesus does! Jesus loves everybody. He loves me and mommy and daddy. He loves you too." She crooked her finger, beckoning the woman to come closer. "And you know what?"
Mrs. Higgins leaned down towards Meggie, apprehension on her face. "What?"
Meggie stood on her tip-toes as she whispered the woman's heart, "I love you, too!" She stepped back.
Mrs. Higgins stared at the little girl, tears in her eyes. Meggie held out her hand and smiled when the old woman took it.
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