With 2015 upon us and a full year of life on the mission field ahead of me, I need as much inspiration as I can get. One of the greatest ways that I often find my greatest inspiration is looking to those who have gone before me and reading their stories or even their writings as inspiration. And in my personal reading time right now I am currently in a season that has me finding it appropriate to read stories from the great missionaries of the past. While I do like to get my hands on as many full biographies as possible, time restraints don’t always allow for that. So I read shorten version sometimes (10-15 pages) to just give myself some extra enrichment. Currently I am reading things on the lives of William Carey, Adoniram and Ann Judson, Bill Wallace, Lottie Moon and Jim Elliot.
But I don’t want to talk about any of them in this blog…Today I was both challenged and inspired by a poem by one of my heroes in missions, Amy Carmichael. Before I share the poem I just want to briefly share a little bit about who she was for those of you unfamiliar with her as both a means of context as well as some inspiration to learn more about her. Her poem, “No Scar?” will follow.
Back in the 1920s, Amy Carmichael a missionary to India who had a stubborn resilience rescued hundreds of orphaned children — especially little girls that would be dedicated to Hindu gods for use in sexual temple rituals. By God’s wonderful grace, some had miraculously escaped from such pagan slavery and were led to the Irish “mother” who lovingly cared for each child God sent her.
History has it that in 1931 she prayed, “God, please do with me whatever you want. Do anything that will help me to serve you better.” And according to story that same day, she fell, suffering fractures that would cripple her for the rest of her life. Not one to be discouraged or bitter when faced with pain or persecution, Amy’s prayer was answered because she now had the opportunity to demonstrate God’s faithfulness before a much larger “host” of witnesses. While her growing children had continual freedom to enter her bedroom and share their hearts with their beloved “mother,” she now had the quiet times that allowed her to write books, poems, and letters that were translated and shared around the world. Here is one those poems entitled, “No Scar?”
I hope it encourages and challenges you for 2015 as it has me, and encourage to take to heart most especially the final two lines in the poem. Blessings to you!
“Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land;
I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers; spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned.
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And piercèd are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far
Who hast no wound or scar?”