Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Amy's words

I'm a big fan of Amy Carmichael., a late 19th/early 20th century missionary who set up an orphanage in India, among many other things. Her story always resonates with me because she suffered from a nerve disease and then late in life had a fall which meant she was bedridden for many years. Despite this, her writings show that she was anything but bitter. If I could emulate anyone's spirit, it would be Amy's. She had a beautiful way of looking at things, a strong and certain faith and a grounding in gritty reality. I wanted to share something she wrote today, for all those who are feeling that their circumstances reduce them to a kind of uselessness or worthlessness. So Amy is guest blogging here at GreatAdventure :)

'You were like a leafy bush, and many little things came for you to shelter. You were not great or important, but you could help those little things.
And it was the joy of your life to help them.
Now you can do nothing at all.
Some desolation - illness, monetary loss, or something you cannot talk about to anyone, a trouble no one seems to understand - has overwhelmed you. All your green leaves have gone.
Now you cannot shelter even the least little bird.
You are like a bush, with its bare twigs . No use to anyone.
That is what you think.
But look again at this bare bush. Look at the delicate tracery of its shadow lines on the snow. The sun is shining behind the bush and so every little twig is helping to make something that is very beautiful. Perhaps other eyes, that you do not see, are looking on it too, wondering what can be made of sun and snow and poor bare twigs....
The spring will come again, for after winter there is always spring.
......Now, in the midst of so much unhappiness, engulfing your heart in cold, let these words seep down - like figures of sunlight, like trickles of first-spring rains - to refresh your inmost soul. God will not fail you, who is the God of the sun and the snow.'

- from 'Figures of the True'

These words minister to me. There are times my heat feels 'engulfed in cold' and my life a shadow of what it once was. No use to anyone. Sometimes I cannot get beyond this pattern of thinking, and sink deep into it, believing more and more lies, living as if it were true. It's hard to dig my way back up. Sometimes it hits at the strangest of moments - when I feel well, for example, or well for me. It's almost as if when I am ill someone carries me, someone sustains me and holds me, but the times I feel better I have to do some battling to keep going. I have to discipline myself to not let the time slip away unproductively on facebook.

It's those times that words like Amy's seep down and blow apart the lies. God will not fail me, God will not fail you. Do not listen to the words which destroy. Believe what God says about you. Whatever you think of yourself, there is a beauty and value in you beyond words. Whatever your circumstances, the spring will come again, for after winter there is always spring.

No comments:

Post a Comment