Today’s Illustration: “Photographing A Tragedy.”

Yesterday, I discussed the general topic of sermon illustrations and the value of reading broadly to find or build them.

One of the bullet points I used was . . . .

  • “Photographing A Tragedy.”

That was an impossible task 200 years ago.  Kodak wasn’t known until the turn of the century — (The Kodak Brownie was introduced in 1900.

Before photography were the arts of painting and wordsmithing!

Here is a piece of literature, written by Amy Carmichael, typically titled “Daisy Chains,” or “Cry of Blood,” [1] which paints a biblical picture of a tragedy — “photographing” a tragedy!

Amy Carmichael Daisy Chains

Who: Amy Carmichael

  • Missionary, Amy Carmichael
  • Born December 16, 1867
  • Born in Millisle, Northern Ireland
  • She was a single, and often sick, missionary who served in India.
  • Missionary for 56 unbroken years of service in India
  • Author of 36 books
  • A single, often sick missionary who served in India
  • “Hinduism encouraged the temple slavery of children. It was prostitution perpetrated in the name of that ancient religion, where little girls and boys were sold to ‘marry’ the Brahmin temple priests.

    When Amy Carmichael discovered what was happening, she was so horrified by the practice that she began a work to rescue children from the temples.” — [2]

  • Valerie Elliot Shepherd, daughter of Jim and Elizabeth Elliot (who wrote the recently republished biography of Amy, A chance to die) spoke movingly of the influence of Amy Carmichael on her parents.

    She also spoke about her own experiences after her father was martyred, as one of the Auca martyrs on 8 January 1956, when she was just 10 months old. Quoting Amy Carmichael — ‘In acceptance lies peace’ — Ms. Elliot Shepherd told of the profound influence Amy had on her parents.” [2]

  • “My mother had often talked to me about the Lord Jesus and, as I sat on her knee, she had sung hymns to me. I had felt the love of the Lord Jesus and nestled in his love just as I had nestled in her arms. But I had not understood that there was something more to do, something that may be called coming to him, or opening the door to him, or giving oneself to him”. — [2]

  • Amy Carmichael died at age 83: 1867-1951
  • “The legacy of Amy lives on in Dohnavur in South India, A bird bath under a tree in Dohnavur commemorates her. On it is inscribed the simple word Amma(meaning ‘mother’). The Dohnavur Fellowship continues in India caring for children rescued from situations of danger.” — [2]
  • Her sculpture was created and then unveiled to celebrate the 150th anniversary of her missionary ministry.

It was created by Christian artist and sculptor Ross Wilson and portrays a determined girl, holding a notebook — her diary of grace, containing God’s plans for her life — looking out to the world. Embossed on her hat are starry flowers, picturing those who would work with her, proclaiming the gospel and rescuing orphans. [3]

PDF Link — Amy Carmichael Daisy Chains

Other Information & Links:

1. If you are looking for some valuable missionary presentations, check out this link.   David Robey, of Tennessee Temple College and Cedarville University, has written two beautiful missionary Reader’s Theatre presentations on the life of the Stams and the Elliotts. Also, see his two books containing these productions — “Two with a mission, and “Three with a mission.”


3. link to video on the sculpture:

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