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A Little Man Did His Job PDF Print E-mail
Written by R.W.Cothern   

February 15, 1953

When Ernie Pyle was a little boy, his job was to carry in the basket of chips each evening, for kindling, to make the home fires burn. Ernie said, "I was so scrawny and weakly about all I could do was to 'tote in the chips'." The task was a small menial one, but he found that it resulted in cheery comfort around the old stone fireplace.

In later years, as a newspaper reporter, Ernie played up the little things, human interests, and sacred little things that lay so close to his 'heart--he was still "tot'en in the chips," and the world warmed their hands and their hearts at his humble hearthstone fires.

When war came on, Ernie begged to go with the soldiers, and tho he couldn't qualify as a soldier because he was still a weak, frail man, he wanted to go and help in his small way.: So he rode the transports through the danger-ridden seas with his friends, and went into the trenches, where he lived, ate, slept and wrote among the boys. At odd hours of the day and night he wrote back to the world the thoughts, fears, and feelings of the men in battle--he was still "tot'en in the chips," and the home-fire burned brighter as the chips glowed on the hearth-stones of American hearts.

The world cried one day when news came that "Ernie Pyle was killed by a sniper's bullet," and they saw him, felt him, as he lay on the ground in that strange enemy land. They understood, as, we all understood, that heaven bent low to hear his last little whispered prayer, and the angels called and said, "Child, your Father calls come home." We somehow understood that "the kingdom of heaven is like unto a little sickly, frail boy, carrying in the chips."

So it is in the kingdom of our Master, many of us feel that we are too weak and poor to do the greater tasks. Sickly, scrawny and frail, we cannot qualify as a "soldier." We have men that are able through the grace of God to fell the great trees and carry in the logs. Men whose preaching lights up the hearts of their hearers like a bonfire, but somebody needs to carry in the chips for kindling that the home fires may burn, and hearts may warm by the glowing coals.

It is plain that I cannot take the place of a soldier, but O just let me go into the trenches with them, so I can see and feel how they live, how they fight, and how they die. If I have a gift at all, it must be a very little one, but a small task well done is worthwhile in the eyes of the Master When we have given our best to the little things, and stay till we fall on the battlefield, the Master will understand and say, "Well done."

R. W. Cothern

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.