“I Don’t Care for What I Have to Do”

My current line of thinking has been prompted by the acquisition of a little Carmichael booklet titled “His Thoughts Said…His Father Said…”
This is the first of a couple of blogs on the writings of Amy Carmichael. If you are unfamiliar with this amazing woman, you can Google her name and familiarize yourself with her writings and legacy. The Wikipedia article is a good starting place.

Like pretty much anything Amy has ever penned, this booklet is deep, comprehensible, practical, thought-provoking, and convicting. Amy was a missionary to India and her writings capture the necessity of followers of Jesus truly grasping the basic elements of the Cross if he work of the gospel is to advance.

In this posting, I want to comment on this new booklet. To begin, permit me to explain the title.

The first part of the title (“His Thoughts Said”) is in reference to the way followers of Jesus might reason things out in their mind. At times Carmichael alternates that with the phrase “The son said…”, the son being me or you. So the person “His” or “Son” could be any of us, male or female, as we seek to follow Jesus while confronted with our humanness. This could refer to our thoughts about life, or it could be our statements and complaints to God.

The second part of the title (“His Father Said”) is God’s response to our thoughts as he dialogues with us. The thought goes something like this: “When I think some of my ridiculously selfish thoughts, how might God respond?”

Here is a sample of how this book goes. This selection is titled “Like a Flint” and it is reading #68 on page 44. Where it says “The Son Said” you may re-word that to put your name in or simply say “I Said.”

THE SON SAID: “I am nothing.”

HIS FATHER SAID: “Did I ever tell you that you were something?”

THE SON SAID: “But I do not feel fit for this that is given for me to do.”

HIS FATHER SAID: “Can you not trust me to make you fit?”

THE SON SAID: “But I am not successful.”

HIS FATHER SAID: “At the end of the day, will my word be, ‘Come good and successful servant’? If only you will walk humbly with your God it will be, ‘Come, good and faithful servant.'”

THE SON SAID: “But I do not care for what I have to do.”

HIS FATHER SAID: “At last you have touched the root of the matter. Did your Savior ‘care for’ Calvary?”

Next entry: Amy Carmichael’s best-known and most challenging poem.

— Dave Shive