Annie is feeling sad because her good neighbor, Ruth, has died. To her, one minute she was with her and the next day she is gone. Ruth died when she slipped and her head hit a rock. Plato is sorry to hear the sad news, and so is Sock. Annie has helped Ruth in her garden for a long time. Now Annie is feeling so alone, and she is going to miss Ruth so much. She remembers the last thing she did with Ruth. They planted blueberries and saw a beautiful sunset. Ruth once said to Annie, "Nobody can make a flower or a sunset, but only God can." She had such a deep faith. Aurora tells Annie that things happen that even we can't explain. If we have faith, it may help us go on with our lives.
Just then, a thunderstorm rolls in. Annie, Zach, and the others hurry inside a cave for protection. It's a good thing the cave was there for shelter from the rain, otherwise they could have been in trouble. Plato tells a story that shows how faith can get someone out of trouble. Plato tells the story of Daniel in the Lions Den.
In this story from the Bible, Daniel was a Jew who lived many centuries ago in exile in a land that is now Babylon. When King Darius and the Persians conquered Babylon, they picked Daniel to be one of three men to oversee the kingdom. Daniel had such great faith. When someone else wanted to conquer the kingdom, Daniel would pray to God for faith. The enemies thought Daniel was too honest and would catch them taking taxes. Daniel told his friend, Nathaniel, about his great faith. Daniel said to Nathaniel that he will trust God and do what's right so his enemies won't be rid of him. God would take care of him. Daniel would pray three times a day. When his enemies have heard about Daniels prayer, they set a law where nobody but King Darius must pray to anyone. Anyone who breaks the law during the 30-day period will be thrown into the lion's den as a traitor. King Darius agreed to pass the law. When Nathaniel tells Daniel about the new law, Daniel still would pray to God as he always had. Sure enough, his enemies arrested him as a traitor and threw him in the lion's den. King Darius was sorry for making that law pass, but he knew that even it must stand. Daniel tells the king that his faith will save him from the lions. King Darius couldn't stop thinking about Daniel with the hungry lions. When he went into the den, he found Daniel still alive. An angel protected him and locked the lions' jaws. King Darius then decided that Daniel's enemies should pay for what they did to him. They get fed to the lions. Daniel was thankful for his faith. He, Nathaniel, and King Darius all have gotten their faith.
Even Zach couldn't have had to face those lions himself. Annie says that Ruth had a faith just as strong as Daniel's. In the story, even Daniel had to face death. In fact, everybody must face death. But with faith, we are not alone. Plato recites a line from The 23rd Psalm--one of the greatest poems ever written. "That poem comforted Ruth," Annie says. During Ruth's life, she faced many problems. Her husband died, she lost a child, and she was poor. But because of her faith and belief that God was with her all the time, she never felt alone. Daniel wasn't the only person who believed in faith, but Harriet Tubman did too.
Harriet Tubman was a slave before the Civil War who fled to freedom. She also helped other slaves escape along a secret route called the Underground Railroad. She guided the slaves to Canada and was known as "the Moses of her people". Sometimes, Harriet couldn't go any farther. But even with the north star to guide her, she had her share of faith. Her faith kept her going. Along the Underground Railroad, they stopped at a house at night to rest and hide from slave catchers who would force them back to their homes. During the day, they hid in a swamp. When the slave catchers tried hunting for them in the swamp, they couldn't find them. Some of the slaves started to starve, but Harriet told them to have faith. "The Lord is with us," Harriet said. Harriet and the slaves also hid in a farm house, and the slave catchers don't meet with success. Soon enough, Harriet and the slaves reach Niagara Falls and arrive into Canada. They are all free! It was all because of Harriet's faith who guided 300 slaves to freedom. She even helped out during the Civil War.
Harriet's and Daniel's faith got them through many hard times. So has Annie's neighbor, Ruth. Just perhaps, Annie's faith could help her cope with Ruth's death. Annie has learned from Ruth that faith grows like a flower. As Annie's faith grows, she won't be so alone. Ruth's faith could live on in Annie.