Wednesday, May 30, 2007
"Mother keeps saying I spend too much time in brooding over my sorrow. As for her, she seems to live in heaven. Not that she has long prosy talks about it, but little words that she lets drop now and then show where her thoughts are and where she would like to be. She seems to think everybody is as eager to go there as she is. For my part, I am not eager at all. I can't make myself feel that it will be nice to sit in rows, all the time singing, fond as I am of music. And when I say to myself, 'Of course we shall not always sit in rows singing,' then I fancy a multitude of shadowy, phantomlike beings, dressed in white, moving to and fro in golden streets, doing nothing in particular, and having a dreary time, without anything to look forward to.
"I told Mother so. She said earnestly and yet in her sweetest, tenderest way, 'Oh, my darling Katy! What you need is such a living, personal love of Christ to make the thought of being where He is so delightful as to fill your mind with the single thought!"
"What is 'personal love of Christ?'"
~Katy's entry for December 14, 1831~Stepping Heavenward, Elizabeth Prentiss
I have to tell you that Katy's mother is one of my favorite literary characters. I first read the book many years ago, but this particular entry really struck me at the time, and has been a favorite since. I wish I would respond to my daughters the way that this woman, who "seemed to live in heaven," normally did to hers. And note, these words "personal love of Christ" came back to Katy to grab her heart as she neared what was no doubt the latter part of her life, as she lay on her sick bed. I wonder what words will we speak that will be embraced by our children in their later years. I wonder will we speak words that will be with them in times of trial when we're no longer with them in the flesh.