This post first appeared on my blog ThrowAwayEverything but I thought you might enjoy it also. -AR
Yesterday the British paper The Daily Mail published a story about a California doctor who announced he has a LASIK-like laser eye machine that can be used to permanently turn brown eyes blue. There are many people in heaven who are praising God that such technology did not exist in Amy Carmichael’s day.
Amy grew up in Northern Ireland in the late 1860s and ’70s. She was a beautiful girl with dark hair and brown eyes. All her young life all she really wanted though were blue eyes. Her brother had blue eyes, why not she? She cried. She prayed. I think she may have even wrote a poem about it, if I recall. One thing is for sure, she was so envious of her brother’s beautiful blue eyes that she used to pinch his cheeks just to watch them turn a more vibrant blue when he would cry as a result.
God never gave Amy blue eyes. He had something better in mind.
In 1887 Amy heard famous missionary and founder of the China Inland Mission, Hudson Taylor, speaking at the annual Keswick Convention. It was there that her heart first stirred for missions work. Originally slated to join Taylor’s work in China, God again redirected. He had something better in mind.
Earthly history now and all of the host of heaven will forever after testify about what happened. Amy Carmichael would go on to India and become of the greatest missionaries to set foot in that land. In her time there Amy founded an orphanage, school, and safe-house for young girls (and later boys). Amy played a major role in breaking the ancient practice of abandoning baby girls (who were not valued in society) to the steps of pagan temples to be trained up as cult prostitutes. Countless girls were saved from lives of prostitution, and instead were taught to read and given back their dignities that society had taken away–and they were saved eternally to Jesus through the hearing of the Gospel.
Amy served faithfully in India for over 55 years and never took a furlough. After nearly 20 years of practically being bedridden Amy passed quietly in her sleep in 1951. Over 100 years later, The Dohnavur Fellowship she started in 1901 still exists today (follow the link to learn more).
Amy Carmichael learned that her ‘unwanted’ brown eyes were a far more precious gift from God than the value she once placed on blue ones. Enabling her to easily fit into the culture of India, God had wisely given her the features of dark brown hair and brown eyes–just like the thousands of young girls and women whom that little girl who once so wished for blue eyes would one day grow up to rescue.