From the Book of Exodus:
Now a man from he house of Levi went and took to wife a daughter of Levi.
And she conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him there three months And when she could hide him no longer she took for him a basket made of bulrushes, and daubed it with pitch; and she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds at the river's brink.
And his sister stood at a distance, to know what would be done to him.
Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to t bathe at the river; se saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to fetch it.
She she opened it she saw the child; and lo, the babe was crying.
She took pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrew's children."
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call you a nurse from among the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?"
And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go".
So she went and called the girl's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you wages."
"So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharoah's daughter, and he became her son.
May the curious wonder of the human family, with all its surprises, continue to guide and sustain you on your meandering journey down the coulees of life. Amen.
Back before I got into this pastor business, while I was yet a young dreamer, I fancied that I should become a writer, for I was hopelessly drawn to the wonder and mystery of stories.
Life had different ideas for me, though, and instead of witing stories of my own, I have been given to reporting the wonders of the everyday ones I am privileged to see.
Some of those stories are so common that they scarcely stand out one above the other.
But occasionally one rises to biblical proportions, taking its plae alongside the wonderful story of the rescue of baby Moses from the river of death, for instance.
The story of Lula is on of those.
It is not that Lula's story is more spectacular than, say, yours, or any of the other stories of Towner County people I am given to tell during occasions like this.
Her story is rugged and common, a female piece of prairie history that any history of the prairie would be incomplete without.
Lula found a family adrift on the wide Dakota prairie sea, and she rescued them. Abandoned by the untimely death of their young mother, four prairie children, two brothers, two sisters, needed a sure and loving hand not to replace the mother who had died, but to complete the work of raising the children that had sprung from her womb.
It is a marvelous story.
A common prairie woman of Norwegian heritage, at the urging of a friend who was leaving her job to go away to opportunities in a large city, comes to a farm near small town not far from where she herself was raised, to become nanny and housekeeper for four motherless children and their grieving widowed father.
She was no longer young according to the social standards of the day. She was about to cross over the line that separates being a potential mother and wife from being an old maid.
But Lula came and rescued those four children from their motherless state, and their father from his widowed one.
To be continued....