This little story was first published in 1931, at the start of America’s Great Depression. As difficult as that time was, Grandmother felt that the 1870s was the “harder” time. Hard times aren’t unprecedented and for us in 2020 with our many concerns about the future, advice from past generations is always encouraging.
From Grandmother: “When times were hard with us sixty-odd years ago–and they were harder than you know about even in these days–Father would gather his family around him of an evening and say, ‘Let us pray.’
“And when we had had a short season of communion with God through which we gained new strength and courage, Mother would say, ‘Now let us play.’ Then would follow an hour of such active games as blindman’s buff, and puss wants a corner, and later such quieter games as tic-tac-toe and old mill. Sometimes other families joined us and before they started for home we would make a feast of pop corn.
“So, playing and playing, we got a spiritual and mental refreshment that made the trials of the morrow seem much easier to face. Seems like to me that this generation of today might get something of value out of praying and playing just as we did sixty-odd years ago.”
Never--once--since the world began Has the sun ever once stopped shining; His face very often we could not see, And we grumbled at His inconstancy; But the clouds were really to blame, not He, For, behind them, He was shining. And so--behind life's darkest clouds, God's love is always shining, We veil it at times with our faithless fears, And darken our sight with our foolish tears, But in time the atmosphere always clears, For His love is always shining.
There are a lot of things kids can do. Joining clubs, playing sports and hanging out with friends are all great ideas. So is spending time with other adults who don’t have problems with alcohol (for example, sports coaches, teachers and other grown-up relatives). It’s important for kids to find something they enjoy and to spend a lot of time doing it. It’s good to spend time with other kids who like to play sports and do fun and healthy things (for example, ride bikes, play in the playground, do arts and crafts, and play on the computer). These are all great ways to cope with stress, sadness, and ups and downs.