If you have ever struggled with regret that daily responsibilities leave you little or no time to work for God, then “Mary’s Secret” by Catherine Douglas Bell is the story you have been waiting for!
Left as an orphan in the care of a bustling, short-tempered aunt, young Mary Drummond feels heartbroken to think that she has not even a fragment of leisure to devote to the Master’s service. Aunt Sally keeps Mary busy “from morning to night” in the exhausting attempt to care for five small children and preserve her house in spotless order at the same time.
“There are so many other things I’d like to do for God,” Mary mourns. “And Aunt Sally says she can’t spare me. If I am to be kept toiling and slaving the whole day long, how can I do service for God?”
But blind Annie takes a different view of the matter. Will Mary prove the truth of her old friend’s secret? Or is Annie mistaken when she declares that Mary still has a precious opportunity to work for the Lord?
SAW Publishing’s FREE Monthly Downloads
“Mary’s Secret” is the fourth in our series of FREE monthly downloads, featuring good and great literature from authors and poets of past generations.
Most of the stories have been gently edited (not abridged!) to remove content that might be inappropriate for today’s children, to make ambiguities in the text clearer for the 21st Century reader, or occasionally to make a brief passage flow more smoothly or effectively. Without recommending all of a featured author’s publications, we hope we can introduce you to many valuable pieces of historic literature that have fallen out of general circulation in the modern world.
Each download presents either a short story or poem by a public domain author. Join us on the fourth Monday of the month for an introductory blog post, highlighting good and great qualities of the piece. Today’s story is “Mary’s Secret” by 19th Century Scottish author, Catherine Douglas Bell.
My favourite thing about “Mary’s Secret” is the way the story challenges each one of us to live for God right here and now. It can be so easy to let our genuine wishes to serve Christ evaporate simply because we don’t see any opportunities to do anything for His glory in the present moment.
Catherine Douglas Bell has done an excellent job of exposing the fallacy of this perception. “Mary’s Secret” is an invigorating reminder that Jesus calls us to perform WHATSOEVER we do “heartily, as unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). And as Aunt Annie remarks in the story, “If you can take the minding of the baby, or the washing of dishes, or any of your little works out from under that broad word, ‘whatsoever,’ you are wiser than I am.”
“Mary’s Secret” is a story for everyone. It carries a universal challenge to every reader to dedicate each little task of daily life to the service and the honour of God.
Perhaps the literary attribute that I most appreciate in “Mary’s Secret” is summed up by the word “moderate.”
I like the fact that Mary sets about her newfound service to God in a cheerful, hearty, and still realistic way. She is not always perfect, she has natural struggles and temptations, but the picture is moderate—Mary sometimes fails but she does not always make the wrong choice. She is drawn in a moderate way. The result is a likeable and relatable character.
The same moderation is shown in the picture of Mary’s aunt, Mrs. Rogers. Although Mrs. Rogers has a quick temper and a habit of fussing over details, she is neither heartless nor cruel—she is capable of caring about Mary’s welfare and gives us just a little hint that the people we label as hopelessly unsympathetic may actually grow gentler as we cease to resent their failings.
Mary’s Secret: A FREE Download
This inspiring tale, set against the backdrop of the old-fashioned Scottish countryside, sends out a clear call to readers today.
Are you willing to throw your heart into serving the Lord right where you are? Do you believe He can use your everyday service for His glory?
To download your copy of “Mary’s Secret” by Catherine Douglas Bell, click the link below. I would love to hear how this story has challenged you personally in your Christian life!
If you are looking for other FREE short stories from SAW Publishing, see our March edition:
- Poetry: What’s Worth Reading?
- Have You Read Your Child’s Books?