THE KING STOPS A FUNERAL
 YOU remember that Nazareth was in the
midst of the hills, and that on the south lay a
wide plain. From the Nazareth heights, across
the plain, one could see the white houses of
a village called Nain, built on a hillside. In
this village there lived a poor widow with her
only son. One day this son, his mother's consolation
and hope and support, fell sick and
died. It was very sad, and everybody in the
village was full of sympathy for the mother,
so that when the day came for the funeral
there was a great company of people to join
their tears with hers.
The word Nain means "pleasant;" and
pleasant it was, indeed, amidst the trees, looking
out north and east and west toward the
high mountains, and even having a glimpse,
when the sun was shining, of the blue sea.
But the poor mother did not look at the view,
nor did she know whether the sky above her
 head was black or white. Everything was
dark before her eyes.
A rough, steep path led up the hill to the
village. And down this path came the funeral
procession: first mourning women making a
loud lamentation, then young men carrying
the body on a wide flat board, then the mother,
and after her the people of the town. But as
they started to go down, another and very
different company started to go up. There
was quite a crowd of these people, some from
Capernaum, some from the country round
about, fishermen and farmers in rough clothes,
and among them one who was dressed as they
were, but to whom they all gave reverence.
And as they went he talked, while they all
listened eagerly. And there they met, on the
side of the hill, in the middle of the rocky
path,—the procession of mourners and he
who came, as he said, to bind up the broken-hearted.
So our Lord saw the poor mother,
and was very sorry. And immediately he said
what we all say when we see any one crying.
He said, "Don't cry;" only, when we say
 that, our friends go on crying just the same,
and we cannot do anything except show our
sympathy. When our Lord said, "Don't cry,"
he knew how to change tears into smiles.
For he put out his hand and touched the
bier; he touched the board on which the
dead man lay. And they who bare him stood
still. And the mother stopped in her sad
journey, and looked up to see what it all
meant, and the people of the two companies
crowded around. And our Lord said, "Young
man, I say unto thee, Arise." And he that
was dead sat up and began to speak. What
did he say? Did he finish some sentence
which death had suddenly interrupted? Or
did he greet his mother as one who comes
back from a strange journey? Or was his first
word a thanksgiving to the one who had thus
enabled him to go on caring for his mother?
It is all unknown to us. It is all a mystery;
both the words which he spoke, and the power
which made him able to speak.
JESUS RAISING THE WIDOW OF NAIN'S SON
But this we know: that our Lord cared.
Sometimes death comes in such a way that it
 seems as if God does not care; when the
young and strong, who are so much loved and
so much needed, are taken away. Then we
may remember that day at Nain. God does
not stop the funeral, but he cares. He is
sorry for those who mourn. For he who came
up the hill at Nain was in God, and God in
him; and when we know him, we know God,
as he said. And this, too, we know: that every
morning God raises us from the death of sleep
to the light of a new day; every morning he
gives us back our life.
What did the young man of Nain do with
his new life? Our Lord told him what to do
with it, for he delivered him to his mother. It
was like that day on the cross when he said,
"Son, behold thy mother." He meant that
the young man was to be a good son, obedient
and loving, better than he had ever
So the procession turned straight about,
and all the mourning women stopped their
crying and wiped their eyes; and the sky
overhead was blue, with the sun shining in
 the midst of it; and the people glorified God,
some saying, "A great prophet is risen up
among us," others, "God hath visited his
people;" and the mother and her son walked
side by side, and Jesus was with them.
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