Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Weak with him

Dear friends, our family is learning to swim in strange waters. And the learning consumes all of our effort and limbs and souls. Our people have surrounded us with their arms of love, and food.

Familiar aromas wafted softly into our kitchen, like chicken soup, along with some new flavors like the picadillo that Chanelle made last Sunday. I love how their dishes bear tiny whiffs of their souls, and what they love. Berni brought us a roast chicken, along with a bouquet of roses and daisies and lilies, and creamy popsicles.

They gave me an idea of what to put on this empty table. You are kind to still drop by. Though I am not able to serve you and fill the table with the fruit of my own hands, I thought I would share some words and paintings that have been feeding my soul.

Lilias Trotter, 1888, age 35

Lilias Trotter was a penfriend of Amy Carmichael, who was a spiritual mother to Elisabeth Elliot. Lilias Trotter was casting the light of the Gospel in the deserts of Algeria, while Amy Carmichael was clipping thousands of toenails and turning orphans into daughters in India. Through the span of years and lands and oceans, they wrote letters to each other. When Lilias Trotter laid on her death bed, she dictated letters to her friend. Perhaps these three mothers of mine are sipping tea by the crystal sea.

I will tell you the story of Lilias Trotter little by little. She was an artist. She painted with words and colors. I love seeing the world through her eyes.

Here are a few casual strokes she made in her journal entry, of a mother cradling her child. She painted this in the closet of her soul, for the eyes of her God. I can almost smell the sweet baby's breath, and feel the warmth of the mother's lap.

27 October, 1924

Two glad Services are ours,
Both the Master loves to bless:
First we serve with all our powers
Then with all our helplessness.
Those lines of Charles Fox have rung in my head this last fortnightand they link on with the wonderful words "weak with Him." For the world's salvation was not wrought out by the three years in which He went about doing good, but in the three hours of darkness in which He hung, stripped and nailed, in uttermost exhaustion of spirit, soul, and bodytill His heart broke.

So little wonder for us if the price of power is weakness.


Jean Tsen said...

��❤ (Red tulip, pink heart)

estherogen said...

Lilias Trotter. I met her in a desert. I didn't know she was AC's lady friend. That makes sense like duh. She traveled well. "Oh, the desert is lovely in its restfulness. The great brooding stillness over and through everything is so full of God. One does not wonder that He used to take His people out into the wilderness to teach them."

I hug and love you. thanks for helping me limp up this mountain. will see you at home by the tea and flowers and pens.