Growing up my books were my friends. Frequent moves often left me without
a friend and feeling lonely. Yes, I was the one standing on the outside in PE class longing to be picked and chosen. Time after time the PE teacher just shook his head and assigned me to a team.
The loneliness could have been excruciating but it led me to explore the books on the shelves of our home.
Everything was there.
I read the Sherlock Holmes books with delight.
Fiction- stories that took me places that I could only dream of
But most of all I was drawn to the biographies.
I can still remember my delight upon finding the thick book on the life of Madame Curie.
That gray book was thick for a twelve-year-old
but I was drawn to read page after page of this fascinating woman’s life.
I’ll never forget my sadness upon finishing it.
Another book though that was a shining moment experience for me way back then
was about the life and martyr of John and Betty Stam. It was a thin book. The print was tiny I had to read it slowly.
It told the true story of the Stams who as a young couple went to serve the Lord as missionaries in China. It dawned an ordinary day in Tsingteh as they ate breakfast and cared for their baby daughter. But that day their lives and that of their daughter fell into the hands of the Communist soldiers. It’s a story that will move you deeply and although they were martyred that day so many years ago, the life of their baby girl was spared.
Their deaths in turn electrified Christians around the world.
Reading their story planted a glimpse of understanding in my young heart of the sufferings that sometimes happen to Christians for the cause of Christ.
Betty Stam’s prayer is written in my Bible today.
“Lord, I give up all of my own plans and purposes,
All my desires and hopes
And accept Thy will for my life,
My all utterly to be Thine forever.
Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit
And use me as Thou wilt,
Work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost
Now and forever more.”
It was and is today
the prayer of my heart
providing a daily Light to all my moments.
Many years ago
I glimpsed the cost of being a follower of Jesus. My heart was filled with love for Him.
It became the prayer of my heart.
and with that prayer is joy indescribable
that will never fade away
giving to me a life that shines.