Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Gem and Some Nuggets


There is a book that is a choice gem to me, with many nuggets of riches in its pages. From my standpoint, its author is like a lily among thorns in the rankings of female writers of any century. Aunt Jane's Hero is the gem and Elizabeth Prentiss is the one who produced the nuggets. Not as well known as her other great work, Stepping Heavenward, this nineteenth century narrative is a distinct and profound ministry to those who are waiting for God's will in marriage, those soon to be married, and those who have recently married. I know of none other like it.

I've written a companion to this book, and must admit that I've struggled with this project more than any other. Someday I hope to again offer it to the public, but for some reason I'm vaguely unsettled about this and that, so it's currently undergoing more revisions. It's so much a part of me; perhaps I hate to let it go. Pray for me about this, please.

I wanted to explain all that as an introduction to what I'm about to do here at Scraps. I'd like to take each of the twenty chapters of the AJH book (and of the corresponding companion) and do a post expressing what I see as the primary nugget in that chapter. I'll title each post to coincide with the chapter title in my companion. I can't really say how often I'll do this, but it will probably take us at least well into the fall is my guess. (After all, it's not the only topic I want to be talking about .) I hope this undertaking will whet the appetite of other folks for the Prentiss book and maybe even help me to pull everything together in my own mind.

I've been married for thirty-six years, but the words spoken by the principals of this story still prick, lift, and gently touch my heart. I think they would yours too.

So, as a foretaste of other valuable chunks to follow, here is a piece from the preface of the AJH book. It's a brief glimpse at a portrait of a Christ-centered home; indeed, it's a glance at the Christian life.

They were living to themselves: self, with its hopes, and promises, and dreams, still had hold of them; but the Lord began to fulfill their prayers. They had asked for contrition, and He sent them sorrow; they had asked for purity, and He sent them thrilling anguish; they had asked to be meek, and He had broken their hearts; they had asked to be dead to the world, and he slew all their living hopes; they had asked to be made like unto Him, and He placed them in the furnace, sitting by "as a refiner of silver," till they should reflect His image; they had asked to lay hold of His cross, and when He reached it to them, it lacerated their hands. They had asked they knew not what, nor how; but He had taken them at their word, and granted them all their petitions...

9 comments:

Beverly said...

I'm going to love this series of posts!!! And the quote you shared with us is one of the huggets that stands out to me:-) Can't wait for future posts on this classic!!

Patty said...

I was blessed and look forward to more posts!
Blessings, Patty

Cami said...

I had a big smile on my face as I read the portion of AJH that you posted at the end, and which I have never heard of much less read before; my husband will recognize the truth of it as well as I do when I share it with him. I look forward to more!!!

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

Hi, new to your blog via the "random" button at CWO. But then again, there's nothing random in God's plan.

Love your post here and look forward to reading with you this book.

I've had some "shaking up" in my life through the years. Becoming a young widow fifteen years ago (I was twenty-five at the time) was certainly one of them.

God's grace... is truly sufficient! Jesus is all we need.

I'll be back to visit more.

Blessings,
Susan
www.livingtheadventurouslife.blogspot.com
www.shareyourgrief.blogspot.com

Beka said...

I'm excited about this upcoming series of posts here! Aunt Jane's Hero is truly a gem. That passage from the preface is such a blessing, and so true.

Kathy at Sumballo said...

Maxine, this looks like a wonderful project. I'll be anxious to see what you do with it. Your love for history is a blessing to me. What a powerful preface!

Maxine said...

Thanks to everybody for encouraging me in this. Just remember, I'll be giving you samples, like the ones they give out at BJ's or Sams, to whet your appetite for the product itself. I don't want to give away too much so as to lessen your enjoyment of the meal! Blessings.

Carol said...

Maxine, I had not heard of this book, so I googled it just to see what the book is all about... I am anxious to read more of your posts about AJH...

Mishel said...

I am *very* much looking forward to more posts regarding AJH. I love Elizabeth Prentiss, but have only read SH (one of my all time favorite books). I actually have AJH, but have never read it--and now, after reading that little snippet, I want to read it! Sadly, it's packed away because of our remodel. : (