Amy Carmichael is dead. She has been for some time now. She actually died on January 18, 1951. She was originally from Ireland and left there to serve the poor and extremely impoverished women and children of Southern India. She arrived there at a time when child temple prostitution was rampant. Sex slavery was commonplace. She published a report for her mission board entitled "Things as they Are" after the first years she was there. For her day and age, the report was so graphic and the tales so brutal, her mission board sent it back to her and told her she needed to edit out the nasty details and send them back a copy that could be shared in public. She sent back the same manuscript.
Amy was a founder of an orphanage that rescued children and babies from child prostitution at the temples. She ran this orphanage for years and years. One night while she was out on her own, she tripped and fell, breaking her leg. A simple break. Everyone thought she would be better in a matter of weeks. Her leg did not heal. She did not get better. She laid bed-ridden for the next 20 years. There was no Tylenol. No Advil. No relief whatsoever for 20 long years.
I am studying her life right now. I love to study the lives of those who have gone before me and been successful at keeping their hearts and minds strong through adversity. I love to study the ways Jesus reached out to them and guided them through their trying circumstances.
The pain in my own back is persistent at this point. It goes from mildly annoying to incapacitating on a very random basis. I think I am getting the treatment I need right now, but it will be a while before I am back to fully functioning. Amy’s books remind me that Jesus is a breath away. He has not "laid us up", or "cast us aside" in these moments of pain. He has only relocated us, reassigned us. The lessons he can teach through pain and adversity make us strong as stone. Focused. Attentive to His voice…
So many lessons from her life…I can not count them. I am so thankful for this friend. I can not wait to meet her some day in Heaven. I can just see her in her Indian Sari, sitting at a table with a cup of chai for me and her to share. We’ll have a lot to talk about.