For the past few weeks, the kids have been immersed in the story of Amy Carmichael, Rescuer of Precious Gems, and they were sad to read the last chapter yesterday. Their daily narrations piqued my interest in her story yet again, and I pulled out my copy of Amy Carmichael, God’s Missionary, a slim but meaty little volume she wrote in 1939 while ministering in
, to set a
standard for missionaries. It was as challenging then as it is now. India
“For our calling, by its very nature, calls us apart from everything else; it has for its object nothing less than this: the knowing of Christ, the living of Christ, among those who do not know Him. The love of our God must shine through us unhindered if we would live to Him here. Surely, whatever makes for holiness of life, for the clearing of the glass through which the light shines, this is for us and nothing else.”
And I know I am not a missionary like Katie or Summer, some of today's versions of Carmichael, and yet I think, here in my home, educating young ones and guiding young adults, this is my own little mission field. In any case, I know what is needed for this job and this life, and it is more of Him, and less of me.
“The love of our God must shine through us unhindered if we would live to Him here. Surely, whatever makes for holiness of life, for the clearing of the glass through which the light shines, this is for us and nothing else.”
What hinders, keeps that love of God from shining through – what clouds the glass? Surely, distractions and worries cloud my thoughts and fill my mind, and out come snappish answers and curt responses. Seeking escape from concerns, I become mindlessly busy. Can any light shine through the spiritual dullness that ensues?
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke out the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22
The cares of this world choke out the word…. and then these choking cares – worries or things I care about more than God or those around me - keep His love from shining through. We have this precious gift, this word, and I wonder how often I fill up with it, only to have it choked, midday, with thorns of fear, confusion, or mind-numbing distraction.
I’d never consider going to the filling station to fill my car’s tank with that costly, precious gas, and then go home to fill the tank with sugar. I’d surely not travel far after that. And yet I fill up with this word, and so quickly let it become choked out.
Amy finishes the first chapter of her little book with
life as an example of giving ones-self wholly to their calling. St. Paul
“He stood forth in the midst of his shipmates and said, ‘God, whose I am, and whom I serve,…’ Can we imagine him frittering away his time in aimless trifles, matters which had not as their end the salvation of the people on board or how own preparation for the battle before him? Could our attitude of life on board ship be always described as that single sentence: ‘God, whose I am, and who I serve.”
Convicting. Challenging. Praying today for thorns to be weeded out and cast aside, and for His wonderful light to shine through.
Trusting in Him,