Years ago, I read some books by Elisabeth Elliot and fell in love. This beautiful woman wrote about all kinds of things that pertain to life and godliness, keeping Jesus at the center of it all. I soon picked up on a prominent figure in her writing: Amy Carmichael.
Amy Carmichael was one of Elisabeth's spiritual mentors, and I was intrigued by many of the quotes interspersed throughout Elisabeth's writing. I decided to see if I could get my hands of some of Amy's books.
I started out with the ones that were still in print. There were several, probably close to a dozen. Then I started hunting down the out-of-print works. There were a lot more than a dozen. Through the years, I have collected them up. I now have about thirty, many very rare and very, very old.
They are some of my greatest treasures.
I have read almost all of them.
But there is one that I began and put away long ago, because I just could not relate to a lot of it. It is a book Amy wrote while she was bedridden, and the purpose is to be a book from someone who is sick to someone who is sick. Amy was convinced that someone who is well, or who has never experienced great pain and illness, well-meaning though they many be, can simply not minister to the sick in the same way someone who is, or has been sick, can.
I picked it back up the other night, when sleep alluded me, because of pain.
Oh my. She really is right. This book is a powerful salve to the hurting. It is ministering to me on more than on level. I am challenged by the fact that she never doubts the Lord's love, never, through it all. She may have been confused by circumstances from time to time, she certainly admitted she did not have all the answers. But through it all, her faith in a loving, intimate, kind Father, never wavered. She trusted that He would do what was best for His child. She trusted that He loved her, that He was tender towards her.
And now I am trying to do the same as I continue through this lovely little book.