Amy Carmichael: (Faithful) Overflowing Shells

As shared here previously (…Immortal Flowers…) my precious Mama was a huge groupie of Amy Carmichael, an Irish author and activist who established a ministry in India to rescue young girls from sex trafficking and provide a safe sanctuary for them.

While searching in a drawer this week for something, I found a card Mama sent me eons ago during my first year working overseas in a challenging place. In her precious handwriting, Mama wrote out the following poem in its entirety with an addendum:

“Thought you might like this poem – our little shell you are. Never forget to let the Lord fill your life to overflow.”

The Shell

Upon the sandy shore an empty shell,
Beyond the shell infinity of sea;
O Saviour, I am like that empty shell;
Thou art the Sea to me.

A sweeping wave rides up the shore and lo,
Each dim recess the coiled shell within
Is searched, is filled, is filled to overflow
By water crystalline.

Not to the shell is any glory then:
All glory give we to the glorious sea.
And not to me is any glory when
Thou overflowest me.

Sweep over me, Thy shell, as low I lie,
I yield me to the purposes of Thy will;
Sweep up, O conquering waves, and purify.
And with Thy fullness fill.

Amy Carmichael

Sometimes it’s easy to let the nothingness of our lives (especially during a global pandemic) overwhelm our hearts and minds.

On this Sunday maybe it’s a good idea to ask Jesus to fill up the empty places in our lives with the fullness of His presence, the fullness of His love.

grace, peace & overflowing shells

Virginia : )

p.s. Virginia will be away this week, thus sporadically available in the blogosphere. (Altho she’s scheduled a few posts to keep faithful readers occupied ‘til she returns…)

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12 Responses to Amy Carmichael: (Faithful) Overflowing Shells

  1. craig says:

    Beautiful. I have read three or four of Amy Carmichael’s books and was edified by them all, especially “If” and “Rose From Brier.” I’ve never sen this poem before, but I love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Virginia says:

      Craig, we Amy Carmichael groupies need to stick together. Must confess I had not read this poem in years. Finding it written out in my precious mama’s handwriting from so long ago, seemed like it needed to be shared! My favorite (and my mama’s) is “Rose from Brier” but I also like “If”too. Hope that you are doing well – and staying SAFE! God be with you and your family — VA : )

  2. Debbie says:

    Have a wonderful, restful week off, Virginia! Thank you for this lovely poem — I’d never read it before, and it seems very appropriate for our challenging times.

    • Virginia says:

      Amen, Debbie. I had a grand time away in Stanford, KY, at the Wedgwood Circle’s GoodLit2020 writer’s retreat. Truly a transformative time and amazing opportunity. Will share more, but it was beyond what I hoped (and lots of fun, too!) Glad you liked the poem – Amy Carmichael suffered from severe pain her last 20 years, but wrote most of her books during that time so God used even that!

      Blessings – VA : )

  3. Michelle says:

    What a beautiful poem!
    Have a wonderful week off. 🙂

    • Virginia says:

      Thanks, Michelle. Truly a blessing finding this poem handwritten out on a card for me so many years ago by my precious mama. Seemed like it needed to be shared! Hope you are doing well – VA : )

  4. arlene says:

    What a lovely poem. Take your time Virginia 🙂

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