Snow flurries scurry across the streets like tiny mice running in an alley. The earth is frozen solid from a cold spell ranging in the low twenties. Winds whip around the corners of buildings blowing paper objects and dirt through the streets. Windows panes are frozen, appearing like they've been coated with a white substance. I rush through the streets as gusts hug my back and blow my hair into my face. Mother and Dad don't go to church with us but they make sure everyone of us go on Sunday's. The younger children didn't come today because it's too cold for them. I'm so cold this morning, I don't think I can make it the two blocks left to walk. I don't like to miss a Sunday because they give a nice gift to the person who doesn't miss a day of church for the year. I want so badly to earn the gift because I want to give it to Mother. She never gets anything pretty for herself. My winter coat is much to short, my shoes have holes in the soles, my socks are holey too, and I don't own a pair of gloves or a hat.
We are what I know as being poor, but we are good decent people. My Dad's been out of work for a long time and hasn't been able to find work. Dad's been sickly and never eats much anymore. He's out everyday looking for work. Mother does washing, ironing, housecleaning, and other odd jobs she can get to support us. Her days and nights are long and tiring.
As I rush through the streets, I turn around and walk backwards to keep the wind from snatching my breath. Since I'm approaching my teens, I don't skip to Sunday School like I use to do. I make it to church and I rush inside, I'm frozen, the pastor greets me, and says, "Miss Millie you sure got some rosy cheeks there...aren't you frozen? I know God is smiling because you made an effort to attend in this cold weather."
Classes are dismissed for us to go to our perspective Sunday School Classes. After we all get settled down, we commence studying the verses in the Bible. Julie pokes me in the ribs and whispers, "You've got holes in your socks...why did you wear those socks to church? Are you a poor person?
I ignore her and keep my head down. She starts poking others and they all start pointing at the holes in my socks and sniggering. I'm so embarrassed...I bite my lip and force back tears. Mrs. Johnson, the teacher, comes over to me and stoops down, putting her arm around my shoulders, and asks, "What's the matter with you Millie?"
"It's okay, everything's okay," I reply.
"Jeanne, do you know what's wrong with Millie?" Mrs. Johnson asks.
"Yes, Julie's been telling all of us to look at the holes in Millie's socks and they've all been laughing at her," Jeanne replies.
Mrs. Johnson walks to the front of the class, and asks the class, "Turn to Isaiah 58:10...Julie, will you please read this verse out loud to the class?"
Looking up, Julie reads, "If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; and then shall thy light rise in obscurity."
Mrs. Johnson asks, "What does this mean Julie?"
Julie squirms in her chair before answering, and then she says, "Ah, I guess it means for people to look around to the needs of those around them."
"Julie, did you do that this morning?"
"No," Julie replies and begins to cry.
Mrs Johnson says, "Let us turn to Philippians 4:19...Millie, do you feel like reading this to us?"
"My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Mrs. Johnson says, "Let us believe God will provide Millie and her family everything required to live each day. Turn your Bible's to Luke 6:37, let us all read together, forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. This is a reminder, you must ask for forgiveness when you do a wrong or hurtful thing to anyone, and it's a sin to hurt anyone and to make fun of them."
Millie raises her hand, asking to speak, "I forgive all of you, pray I make it to Sunday Services so I can earn the gift for my Mother."
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