Oh the comfort--
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person--
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together,
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

"Friendship" by M. M. Craik

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Road of God

Some one needs a cheerful word
   Along the road to-day;
Some one waits with anxious heart
   Your presence by the way.
Your love can help the troubl'd
   And lift a heavy load;
Your kindness touch'd by feeling,
   Can smooth the trying road.

And what is life if coldly
   We live it here awhile,
And fail to kindle comfort
   By word and deed or smile?
Time's too short for selfishness;
   Too brief for thoughts which end
In canceling the love touch,
   Which makes us some one's friend.

The Golden Rule of Jesus,
   Once taught in Galilee,
Enjoins the law of service,
   Through love's sweet ministry.
The path of life yet lieth,
   Within the steps He trod,
And kindliness and pity
   Are still the road of God.

No author is attributed to this work, and I can't find it cited anywhere else.  Florence began this journal by filling it with contributions her fellow Willing Workers brought to meetings, so it's no surprise that many of the quotes speak of service and helping the needy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thy Neighbor

Who is thy neighbor? He whom thou 
Hast power to aid or bless;
Whose aching heart or burning brow
Thy soothing hand may press.
Thy neighbor? 'Tis the fainting poor,
Whose eye with want is dim;
O enter thou his humble door,
With aid and peace for him

          ~William Peabody

This quote was given to Florence by Ruth Brown.  Handwritten on a notecard and pasted in the book; it's one of the earlier contributions to the journal.  William Peabody was a minister in the early 1800's who wrote hymns.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Chinese Proverb

That the birds of worry and care fly above your head,
this you cannot change,
but that they build nests in your hair,
this you can prevent.

A little quote from Florence today, typed out on a small piece of paper. I'm not sure where it came from, the small paper is loose in the book. A typical favorite quote, it doesn't say much and then speaks volumes when you think about it a little longer.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Florence loved the writing of Edgar A. Guest.  His poems are scattered throughout her journal.  "Career" is not one of Mr. Guest's more well-known works, but it's quite thoughtful.  Pondering the worth of someone who left no tangible record of his existence.


There are some who build with brick and stone
  And some who guide a pen.
But the greater art is to play a part
   In the throbbing lives of men.

Though a page of print may lovely be
   And pictures joy may bring,
To give men strength for this long life's length
   Is by far a greater thing.

When the critics sit in their judgement halls
   On the things men build or write,
They blame or praise in the narrow ways
   Of hearing and of sight.

But what of that worth which the eye sees not
    And no glass can quite reveal,
That subtle gift which has power to lift
   The weight of the woes men feel?

What of that life which leaves no trace
   In records of print or stone
Yet is graven deep in the dreams men keep
   And is found in the faith they've shown?

There is much to be said for man's deeds and skill
   And much for his works of art,
But beyond compare is that influence rare
   Which has bettered the human heart.

                                ~Edgar A. Guest

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Motto

Yesterday I posted a photo of two pages from Florence's journal.  The left page has a short motto pasted on the bottom:

Motto of H. J. Heinz
I work as though I would live forever
And live as though I would die tomorrow.

Interesting motto.  A quick google search on Henry J. Heinz makes for fascinating reading. Heinz was a self-made man, a true American who believed that hard work would lead to prosperity.  He started working at the age of 8, going door to door to sell vegetables from his mother's garden. From that little business grew the Heinz food processing company that we know today. 

Heinz was also a devout Christian. Understanding his work ethic and his religious viewpoint, his motto makes perfect sense.  Work hard every day, for it is your job to provide for yourself in the future (not the guy next door, not the government--but hey, that's a subject for another day).In addition, it's important to live each day knowing it could be your last. 

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."-- Matther 24:36

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Smile

The following quote is written into Florence's journal in longhand.  There is no author noted.  Interestingly, when I google the first line of the quote, I find someone who has copyrighted the saying in 2006, but I'm not sure how that is possible, since Florence was keeping this journal in the 1930s.  It's a puzzle! If anyone has more information regarding the true author, please leave me a comment.

A smile costs nothing, but gives much.
It enriches those who receive
without making poorer those who give.

It takes but a moment,
but the memory of it can last forever.

None is so rich and mighty that he can get along without it,
and none is so poor but that
he can be made rich by it.

A smile creates happiness in the home,

fosters good will in business,
and is the countersign of friendship.

It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged,
sunshine to the sad,
and is nature's best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged,

borrowed or stolen.

For it is something that is of no value to anyone 
until given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a smile.

Give them one of yours,
as none needs a smile so much as
he who has no more to give.

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner, here is a Thanksgiving Prayer from Florence's journal.  There was no date on this clipping.  It's a simple prayer, but rich in meaning.  I love the idea of praying for weakness and poverty, if it means strengthening our positive moral ground.

Heavenly Father: Do Thou help us to be forgetful of our selves and thoughtful of others.

--To be weak in carrying grudges and strong in bearing burdens.

--to be humble as we walk with Thee.

--and proud that we can serve Thee through devotion to thy Law of Justice, Kindness and Mercy.

--to be poor in Hatred, Envy and Prejudice.

--and Rich in Love, Friendship and Service.  Amen

                                                             ~Rabbi Harry Jolt

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Foot-Path to Peace

To be glad of life, because it gives you the chance
    to love and to work and to play and to look up to the stars;

to be satisfied with your possessions,
    but not contented with yourself until you have made the best of them;

to despise nothing in the world except falsehood and meanness,
    and to fear nothing except cowardice;

to be governed by your admirations rather than by your disgusts;

to covet nothing that is your neighbors'
    except their kindness of heart and gentleness of manners;

to think seldom of your enemies,
    often of your friends
        and every day of Christ;

and to spend as much time as you can with body and spirit,
    in God's out-of-doors—

these are the little guideposts on the footpath of peace.

                                                       ~Henry Van Dyke

This is one of the first entries in Florence's journal.  It's pasted into the book, and along the top of the page the name Cecile Maier is written in elegant longhand. The very front of the journal has "Property of Willing Workers 1929-1930" written on the flyleaf.  For many years, Florence was a member of a charity group called The Willing Workers. These women spent long hours helping those less fortunate.  I believe that, at the start of a Willing Workers meeting, one of the members of the group would bring a favorite piece and read it aloud.  Florence would then take that member's reading and paste it or copy it longhand into the book. 


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Welcome to A Faithful Hand

Welcome to a Faithful Hand.  My name is Deborah Hall Hampilos. When my Great-Aunt Florence Loretta Hall passed away 20 years ago, I received her rather old and shabby journal. This little overstuffed book has been a constant fixture at my desk ever since.  Sometimes I browse through it, reading a few of the clippings and marveling at the beautiful penmanship of the handwritten contributions. My aunt took such care to preserve the inspirational stories and quotations she loved so well, I've always felt like this little book was a special treasure she passed on to me.  Over the years, I've wondered if there was anything I could do with the book, to somehow find a way to share it with others.

Thus this blog was born. Here I can post selections from her journal, and perhaps tell a little of Florence's story in the process.  She was a fascinating lady--to her, the world was an exciting place to explore and she did so enthusiastically.  She loved to travel and visited many exotic places in her lifetime.  And yet, her little journal is filled mostly with rather homey, faith-based homilies related to living a simple and spiritual life.  As I said, she was a fascinating lady.

So welcome to my little blog. Hopefully you will find something that touches your soul, much as Florence filled her journal with writing that touched her.  I think she'd be happy to know her collection has gone on to inspire others in some small way. The title of this blog, A Faithful Hand, comes from a clipped poem by D.M.M Craik that Florence had tucked into the very front of the journal. I like to think it was her favorite.