Literature, My Thoughts, relationships

Not Empty Now

***MAJOR SPOILER ALERT***

-Do not read this unless you have read Little Women


 

Josephine March and Friedrich Bhaer (from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott) taught me something very important.

 

I was actually having a bit of quiet time with God and was listening to the song “Empty My Hands” by Tenth Avenue North when it all occurred to me. I was sitting there, begging God to empty my hands of junk: dreams, ambitions, and distractions. I wanted Him to empty my hands and fill me up with Him.

 

In Little Women, when Bhaer comes to Jo to ask her to marry him, the end of their conversation goes like this:

 

~”Ah! Thou gifest me such hope and courage, and I haf nothing to gif back but a full heart and these empty hands,” cried the professor, quite overcome.

 

Jo never, never would learn to be proper, for when he said that as they stood upon the steps, she just put both hands into his, whispering tenderly, “Not empty now,” and stooping down, kissed her Friedrich under the umbrella.~

 

I suppose it was because I was singing about empty hands that I thought about this particular happening (it is one of my favorite romance quotes), but a new view of this suddenly opened up to me. I realized what a beautiful picture this truly is of us and God. We are Friedrich Bhaer. We come to God so full of love and longing, and feeling so unworthy. We wish to give Him something in return for all His love and goodness, but we find only ourselves. We have nothing but full hearts and empty hands. Then God reaches down and places His hands in ours and tenderly whispers, “Not empty now….” He gives us Himself and then we are full. Full and overflowing. We are so overwhelmed by His offer that it only fills our hearts further with love. I am close to bursting….

 

In that moment, I realized that He defines ‘lover’. He is the Creator of romance, and He is far better than anything we could ask for or imagine. And I look up adoringly into His loving face and echo His reply, “No, not empty now, or ever…..”

 

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Lord, I am a Blind Sheep!—A Prayer from Kinuko-san

[Picture not mine]

I was so touched by dear Kinuko-san’s recent post—a poem that she wrote. I asked her permission to reblog her post. You can find the original here: http://japanesebiblewoman.blogspot.com/2015/10/lord-i-am-blind-sheep-my-poem-and-prayer.html

Please go check out her site. She is such a tender maiden for our Lord. 🙂

“Lord, I am a Blind Sheep”

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Lord, I am a blind sheep.

A dull sheep who runs about thoughtlessly.

Even truth-seeking heart would lose its power in front of this dullness.

The tragedy is that, though I know well that there are various wolves with sheep clothes,

walking about, seeking whom they may deceive,

I cannot hear Thy voice very well!

One day, am I going to be eaten by one of them?

Since I am blind and cannot hear very well,

would You do me a special favor?

Even after calling me by name and leading me out to the pasture,

Lord, would you continue to carry me through to the final destination?

Because of Thy servant’s dullness and weakness,

please grant me Thy special mercy.

[written by Kinuko]

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The Sight of a Blind Woman; A Simple Prayer to Turn our Hearts

The picture is not mine...

The picture is not mine…

Fanny Crosby was rendered blind at a young age because of damage done to her corneas. However, she never let her blindness hinder her in any way. At a young age, she memorized large portions of the Bible, rode horseback, played, jumped, ran, climbed trees, played several instruments rather well, and wrote many poems. Later in life, she travelled, became a professor at an institution for the blind, and wrote many hymns. She has been one of my major inspirations over the past few months. She refused to count her lack of sight as anything but a blessing. Despite her lack of physical sight, she saw more spiritually than most see in all their lifetime. O the sight of this blind woman! Let us now incline our ears to one hymn she wrote. It is a prayer to turn our hearts. This has become my prayer every day. Let the words soak in….

“I am thine, O Lord. I have heard Thy voice,

And it told Thy love to me;

But I long to rise in the arms of faith,

And be closer drawn to Thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side!

Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,

By the power of grace divine;

Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,

And my will be lost in Thine.

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side!

O the pure delight of a single hour

That before Thy throne I spend;

When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God,

I commune as friend with friend!

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side!

There are depths of love that I cannot know

Till I cross the narrow sea;

There are heights of joy that I may not reach

Till I rest in peace with Thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To the cross where Thou hast died;

Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,

To Thy precious, bleeding side!”

—”Draw Me Nearer” by Fanny Crosby

The picture is not mine...

The picture is not mine…

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