The Restfulness of Christ
There are some people whom we meet with as we journey who impress us with a sense of restfulness. Such people, not infrequently, are men; more often, if I mistake not, they are women. They are not necessarily brilliant, nor have they any striking or unusual gifts; all we feel is that in their company there is a pleasant atmosphere of restfulness. We are all tempted to strain after effect sometimes, but in the presence of these people we do not think of that. There is no effort to keep up conversation. We are not ashamed even of being silent. Like a breath of evening after the garish day, when coolness and quiet have followed on the sunshine, such natures, often we know not how, enwrap us with a sweet sense of rest
And you will find, as your survey of life broadens, that people who are weak never create that atmosphere. There may be many vices in the strong, but there is always something unrestful in the weakling. We talk of the restfulness of the calm summer evening, and unhappy is the man who never feels it. But we know now how at the back of that there is the stress of conflict and the strain of battle. And so in the people who are full of restfulness, could we but read the story of their lives, we should find the record of many a hard battle and the tale of many a well-contested field. I do not mean that they have done great deeds. I do not mean that they have suffered terribly. The greatest victories are not spectacular nor is there any crowd to cheer the combatant. I only mean that people who are restful are people who have looked facts in the face, who have toiled when there was not much light to toil by and carried their crosses in a smiling way. There is never any rest in weakness. To be weak is miserable, doing or suffering, says Milton.1 The condition of all restfulness is power of the open-eyed and quiet heroic kind. And probably that is why people who are restful are at the same time delight ...
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