Vol.VI No.VI Pg.8
August 1969

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

They were cushioned in tissue, and carefully preserved in a beautiful gilded box. Three tightly rolled balls of gray hair? — no, on closer inspection I saw they were spirals of feathers. The largest was about two inches in diameter, and the others were little more than an inch across.

I wanted you to see my brothers crowns, the little lady said; and she handled the box with obvious concern — almost reverence. They were found in his pillow after he died.

She must have noticed the puzzled look which crossed my face, for she continued, You know, most men never make a profession but, well — his wife waited for some time before she would open his pillow. Then, when she did, this is what she found! The drawn, questioning look, was now replaced with a look of confidence.

The implication was obvious. Although her deceased brother had never professed Christ, she based her hopes for his eternal well-being on the fact that these balls of feathers — likely from the washing of the pillows, or drawn into place by the curve and weight distribution common to each feather — had been found in the pillow on which he had slept. I suppose I was speechless at the absurdity of the whole matter, and I did not wish to hurt the dear little womans feelings; but when her husband said, somewhat apologetically, that he had his doubts about such a thing, I hastened to back him up.

The lady fingered the feathers lightly, smoothing them into place, and slowly closed the lid over them. I could not help but feel a deep compassion for her as she put them away. Grasping at straws — or feathers!! It is so common, and so hopeless..

It made me sad — it made me angry! Looking back on the whole affair. I realize that a catalogue of mixed emotions raced through my system, and I cant help but wonder if the desire to teach people the way of life in Christ — one of those feelings most certainly present — will be a strong and enduring one, and push me on to DO something about such superstition.

That woman believes, or thinks she believes, that the Bible is the Word of God. What a commentary on the affect of emotional, social religion, that rejects plain objective teaching.