Select the desired text size
Start of Story
She sat still and listened when the clergyman read the Bible
in the evenings. All the children thought a great deal of her; but when
they spoke of dress, and grandeur, and beauty, she shook her head.
The following Sunday, when the family was going to church, they asked
her whether she would not go with them; but she glanced sorrowfully,
with tears in her eyes, at her crutches. The family went to hear the
word of God; but she went alone into her little chamber; there was only
room for a bed and chair to stand in it; and here she sat down with her
Prayer-Book; and whilst she read with a pious mind, the wind bore
the strains of the organ towards her, and she raised her tearful
countenance, and said, "O God, help me!"
And the sun shone so clearly, and straight before her stood the angel
of God in white garments, the same she had seen that night at the church
door; but he no longer carried the sharp sword, but in its stead a
splendid green spray, full of roses. And he touched the ceiling with the
spray, and the ceiling rose so high, and where he had touched it there
gleamed a golden star. And he touched the walls, and they widened out,
and she saw the organ which was playing; she saw the old pictures of the
preachers and the preachers' wives. The congregation sat in cushioned
seats, and sang out of their Prayer-Books. For the church itself had
come to the poor girl in her narrow chamber, or else she had come into
the church. She sat in the pew with the clergyman's family, and when
they had ended the psalm and looked up, they nodded and said, "It is
right that thou art come!"
"It was through mercy!" she said.
And the organ pealed, and the children's voices in the choir sounded so
sweet and soft! The clear sunshine streamed so warmly through the window
into the pew where Karen sat! Her heart was so full of sunshine, peace,
and joy, that it broke. Her soul flew on the sunshine to God, and there
no one asked after the RED SHOES.