I never met her but I feel that I know her well; Amy Carmichael.
She died in 1951 at the age of 83, the year after I was born, but when I read her books and poetry, age and the separation of years is irrelevant. She is a tremendous role model and inspiration, but also a kindred spirit, and often I see a string of words that she wrote and my heart sings, "Me too!"
January 31st was such a day. Edges of His Ways, is a collection of some of the thoughts that she recorded to share with her "family" at Dohnavur, the community and refuge she founded in India. On the page for January 31st, she wrote:
...As each new day begins it is true to say, I have not passed this way heretofore; joys that I never met before will meet me today; surprises are awaiting to delight me...
I too, know the Father who loves to delight his daughter and I laugh with delight at the surprises when they come.
Later that day, as I was driving down some snowy highway in bright sunshine, bound for a destination that escapes me at this minute, I actually felt like waving, so strong was the sense that looking on were my beloved kindred spirit writer "friends," Amy Carmichael and Henri Nouwen, and my dear friend Aunt Agnes, who died nearly 20 years ago at age 91. Her poems and life continue to inspire me.
I also thought of my great great grandfather, Cornelius Schipper, who I never knew except in a black and white photo, which I can hardly remember. I know from my mother that he was known, in Dutch, as a "Christelijk" man--a Christian man.
And one day, perhaps I too will stand in this crowd, and with them, cheer others on to whom I will have flung the torch. Sometimes I can hardly wait, but then I know that while I'm here, it is my privilege to run!
Hebrews 12:1-3 (The Message)
1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!