My Mama absolutely loved Amy Carmichael (1867 – 1951), an Irish Protestant missionary who served in India for 55 years. As founder of the Dohnavur Fellowship, Amy rescued young girls from sex trafficking and established a safe home and sanctuary for them in Tamil Nadu. Calling her “Amma” (“mother” in Tamil language), the young girls said the reason they stayed: “Amma loves us.”
A terrible fall in 1931 left Amy Carmichael mostly bedridden for the last 20 years of her life. Pain and physical limitations did not deter her. She remained active in the ministry from her bedside at Dohnavur and wrote more than 16 inspirational books.
My Mama treasured her many books, poems, and stories about her life. Mama’s favorite Amy Carmichael book, “Rose From Brier,” was written with letters Amy sent to others suffering illness and pain, sharing from the depths of her own experience.
A few months after Mama passed I went on an 8-day silent retreat at the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, PA. It seemed like she was winking from Heaven when I found this Amy Carmichael book on a shelf in the library.
A book from one of the most famous Protestant missionaries, but not only that — Mama’s favorite – in a Jesuit Catholic library!
These words seemed to jump off the page as I copied them out in my journal, so here they are for you on this Lenten Monday:
“Before the winds that blow do cease,
Teach me to dwell within Thy calm:
Before the pain has passed in peace,
Give me, my God, to sing a psalm.
Let me not lose the chance to prove
The fullness of enabling love.
For meadows of immortal flowers,
Lead me where streams at Thy command
Flow by the borders of the hours,
That when the thirsty come, I may
Show them the fountains in the way.
(Amy Carmichael, Rose from Brier)
Virginia : )
“God does not measure grace out in teaspoons.” Amy Carmichael