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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #94


[Emily Starr and her classmate Ilse Burnley become friends.]  “And you’ll tell me things – nobody ever tells me things. And let me tell you things – I haven’t anybody to tell things to,” said Ilse. “And you won’t be ashamed of me because my clothes are always queer and because I don’t believe in God?”  “No. But if you knew Father’s God you’d believe in Him.”  “I wouldn’t. Besides, there’s only one God if there is any at all.”  “I don’t know,” said Emily perplexedly. “No, it can’t be like that. Ellen Greene’s God isn’t a bit like Father’s, and neither is Aunt Elizabeth’s. I don’t think I’d like Aunt Elizabeth’s, but He is a dignified God at least, and Ellen’s isn’t. And I’m sure Aunt Laura’s is another one still – nice and kind but not wonderful like Father’s.”  “Well never mind – I don’t like talking about God,” said Ilse uncomfortably.  “I do,” said Emily. “I think God is a very interesting subject, and I’m going to pray for you, Ilse, that you can believe in Father’s God.”  “Don’t you dast!” shouted Ilse, who for some mysterious reason did not like the idea. “I won’t be prayed for!”  “Don’t you ever pray yourself, Ilse?”  “Oh, now and then – when I feel lonesome at night – or when I’m in a scrape. But I don’t want anybody else to pray for me. If I catch you doing it, Emily Starr, I’ll tear your eyes out. And don’t you go sneaking and praying for me behind my back either.”  “All right, I won’t,” said Emily sharply, mortified at the failure of her well-meant offer. “I’ll pray for every single soul I know, but I’ll leave you out.”  For a moment Ilse looked as if she didn’t like this either.  -L. M. Montgomery, Emily of New Moon (1923), pp. 114-115

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