A Woman Who Cared
Thursday - March 17th
Scripture to Read Today: 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person's work.
1 Corinthians 3:12-13
Monday's Take5 told the story of Amy Carmichael, an incredible woman of faith who rescued many girls from temple prostitution in India. She showed those girls the love of Jesus. Carmichael gave her life to rescue and nurture those lives so easily discarded by others.
Amy Carmichael grew up in a wealthy family in Ireland. Her father owned a flour mill business. She went to the best boarding schools and had all she could ever want.
One day Amy's life abruptly changed forever. Her father's business collapsed and closed. Mr. Carmichael worried so much about his business that he became ill and died.
The family could no longer afford the extravagances they once enjoyed, so Amy dropped out of school. She spent the next ten years helping her mother take care of her younger sisters and brothers. Then, Amy's encounter with a woman in great need changed her view on life and the world. She would credit that moment for the moment her heart moved toward ministry - toward showing others the love of God in practical ways.
One cold, dreary day, as Amy, her mother, and brothers left a church service, Amy experienced something that changed her life. An old beggar woman came staggering out of the alley. Her clothes were torn, and she had no shoes. Amy felt sorry for the woman. She and her brother helped the old woman down the alley. When Amy saw other people from the church pass by them, she was embarrassed to be seen with the woman. She covered her face and bent over so the church people would not recognize her.
As she continued to walk with the beleaguered woman, Amy heard a voice say, "Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and straw -- the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If the foundation survives, he will receive the reward." When Amy turned to see who had spoken to her, she saw no one. Amy knew that she appeared kind by helping the elderly woman, but she knew the heart's motivation was wrong.
From that moment on, Amy decided to hold her head high. She would never again be embarrassed by helping the hurting or the marginalized. When she got home, she searched the Bible and found the words she had heard. Years earlier, she had memorized the passage found in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15. God had whispered it to Amy at that moment as she walked with the woman. She knew that her selfish motivation would not stand the fire of God's judgment. So that night, Amy knelt by her bed and promised God that in the future, she would only do things to please him - no matter what anyone else thought.
As Amy ministered faithfully for God in India, she often told that story. She wanted others to know that all she did, she did for Christ - and Christ alone.
On this St. Patrick's Day, let's learn from an Irish woman wholly committed to pleasing God - not others!