Long ago, I fell in love with stories. Really — I fell in love and devoured as many books as I could carry home or that would fit in my bicycle basket. Remember there were no book bags in those days and our parents certainly wouldn’t think of hauling us anywhere. There was only one car per family, and it usually went with the parent who needed it the most. In my case – Dad walked to work and mom drove the car on most days.

Today – I found one of those orange covered series of books that made me fall in love with reading – – – Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories. I don’t know if they were originally my brother’s books or if the parents just picked them up somewhere or if I just got them at the library, but I loved them. They were the Chicken Soup books of the day, and I think I read parts of them several times.

A classic from my childhood that I plan on reading tonight right before bed..

All things being considered, it wasn’t a surprise in today’s Daily Ration to see another classic – this time a poem. One thing about the Greatest Generation, many of the teacher/preachers were well-read and brought their classical training into their teachings, but they didn’t always include a reference.

So — me being me – I went looking for it. Toyohiko wrote this sometime in the 700’s. Who knew airships were around in the 700’s? Today, this poem is still used in the classroom but the lesson plans I found conspicuously didn’t mention God at all. Somehow, I kept wishing this Ration’s author had used the last two lines of the poem because it is in those lines that Toyohiko’s theme become clear and perfect. So here is the poem in its entirety because I just couldn’t stand it.

I cannot invent
New things
Like the airships
Which sail
On silvery wings;
But today
A wonderful thought
In the dawn was given,
And the stripes on my robe,
Shining from wear, were suddenly fair,
Bright with a light
Falling from Heaven –
Gold, silver, bronze
Lights form the windows of Heaven.
And the thought was this:
That a secret plan
Is hid in my hand;
That my hand is big,
Because of this plan.
That God,
Who dwells in my hand,
Knows this secret plan
Of the things He will do for the world
Using my hands.

1942 Daily Ration: ” ‘My power and the might of my band.’~Deut 8:17

“In the Chicago Art Institute is a lovely bronze cast of the hands of Abraham Lincoln. The hand from which this model was taken were the ones that wrote the Emancipation proclamation, the Second Inaugural Address, The Gettysburg Address.

” ‘The whole history of man’s progress can be interpreted as his growing ability to use his hands.’ The anthropologist tells us that man has used his hands in building with stones for one million years. For thirty thousand years man has used his hands to fashion spears, swords, and harpoons; for fifteen thousand years, to mold pottery; and for one thosand, to create machines.

“The hands also carry a spiritual message. God builds hi Kingdom by using our hands.

‘And the thought was this:
That a secret plan
Is hid in my hand;
That my hand is big,
Because of this plan…’~ Toyohiko Kagawa “Discovery” 712 AD

“Read: Psalm 24:1-6

“Prayer: Use our hands today, O God, we pray, In Jesus’ name. Amen.

{google images]


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