Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Amy's Lily

Pretty much anyone who knows me will realize that I love to read. I used to read a lot when I was in high school, but in college I haven't had as much time. One thing I still make time to read though, is biographies--especially biographies about missionaries. I am always encouraged by the reminder that these people struggled just like I do. It is so easy to think of the missionaries we read of as some kind of "super-Christians." But they were everyday people, only accomplishing and overcoming what they did through Christ.

Last year I was really impacted by the lives of the Elliots. I read Passion and Purity, The Journals of Jim Elliot, and The Savage My Kinsman. Through Elisabeth Elliot's love of Amy Carmichael, I became interested in her life. So when I finished my books on the Elliots, I started reading books about Amy Carmichael. I've finished a few written by her, and I'm currently reading a wonderful biography about her, A Chance to Die (which was actually written by Elisabeth Elliot).

Today while I was reading, I ran across an event in her life that really impacted me. It reminded me so much of all that my Casa de Amor friends are going through right now.

"A few weeks later an epidemic struck. Two babies died, and Indraneela ("Sapphire" in Tamil), the only baby left, lay very quietly on Atah's lap....'She held out her little hands to be kissed, and then, tired, fell asleep. In the few hours that followed we could not help noticing the other-world expression deepening in the baby's eyes....Then there was a sudden breaking of the silence, one little cry, the baby's mother-word, "Amma!"'

An angel came for her, Amy said--gently touched her so that she slept and woke to the music of heaven. Amy took the children to the garden and showed them nasturtiums and convolvulus which were not flourishing as they should have. But one beautiful lily, the first that had ever blossomed there, had opened that very morning.

'If Jesus came to our garden,' she asked, 'which flower would you give Him?'

They ran to the lily. 'We would give Him this!'

Would she give Him her lily?....We would give Him this! We would give Him this!--the words kept repeating themselves in her mind. Would she, could she give Him this? As she was resting in her room later that afternoon, trying to gather strength for the baby's burial, she heard Mr. Walker's schoolboys reading aloud from the book of Exodus the description of the breastplate of the high priest, which had four rows of stones. In the second row was a sapphire. It was the word she needed. Her Sapphire was "set on His breast." The child would be safe there.

Dear little feet, so eager to be walking
But never walked in any grieving way,
Dear little mouth, so eager to be talking
But never hurt with words it cannot say,
Dear little hands, outstretched in eager welcome,
Dear little head that close against me lay--
Father, to Thee I give my Indraneela,
Thou wilt take care of her until That Day"

(A Chance to Die, by Elisabeth Elliot; pp. 184-185)

1 comment:

Jennifer T. said...

Oh how beautiful, Katie! I have read "A Chance to Die" but years ago, before I had any idea I would be doing this. Maybe I should read it again.

Thank you so much for sharing, and for sharing in our sufferings. How I hate that so many others are heartbroken with us, only God knows why....