A Feast for neighbourhood children
But the very next day another picture, of very different children, was superimposed upon this.
I had been with the Master all morning. (Later I will write of the morning.) In the afternoon around three o’clock I returned with Rhoda Nichols only to meet Him just going out with the Persians. He smiled, then walked swiftly toward the river, but Ahmad, dropping behind, called to Rhoda and me: “Come along with us to the Harrises’.” We should have known better than to go, for the Master had not invited us, but we couldn’t resist the temptation. So we followed up Riverside Drive, then West End Avenue, till we came to Ninety–Fifth Street, where Mr. and Mrs Harris live. A tenement house neighbourhood.
As we approached Ninety–Fifth Street, there we saw them: the different children. There must have been nearly a hundred of them, playing in the street with their hoops and balls. But, when the Master drew near, all shining white in His long flowing robes, they immediately stopped playing. It all happened instantaneously. The next moment they had fallen into formation and were marching down the street behind Him (we had
turned east toward Central Park), some of them still rolling their hoops. Without one word they followed, their little faces almost solemn. They made me think of a real and beautiful Children’s Crusade.
We came to the house where the Harrises live and walked up five steep flights, but when Mrs. Harris opened her apartment door and Rhoda and I saw a table inside set only for the Master and the Persians, we backed away terribly embarrassed and lost no time in getting downstairs. After all, we couldn’t have foreseen a luncheon at three o’clock!
When we opened the street door, there were the children again, surrounding the house, silently looking up at it. A little yellow-haired girl came running up the stoop to me. She seemed to be the spokesman for the others. Breathlessly she asked: “Please, ma’am, tell us. Is He Christ?”
I sat down on the stoop while the whole crowd of children swarmed and pushed around me. “I will tell you all about Him,” I said. Then I whispered to Rhoda: “Go upstairs again, dear, and let the Master know what is happening.”
She returned with a wonderful message from the Master, an invitation to all the children to come to a feast to be given specially for them at the Kinneys’ house next Sunday.