Friday, July 13, 2007
Meet Aunt Jane and Horace
Jesus calls us: o'er the tumult
Of our life's wild, restless sea,
Day by day his sweet voice soundeth,
Saying, "Christian, follow me."
Jesus does call us, you know, and He does call us day by day. "Follow Me," He says. "Don't listen to the sounds of this corrupt world trying to suck you in. Listen to Me, Christian--only Me."
In the first chapter of Aunt Jane's Hero, Jesus was making this plea to a young man named Horace. But attention was not given; the Voice was not heard. The Voice wasn't an audible one in the midst of some dream or vision or similar phenomenon. It came via someone who loved Horace, an older saint whom he called "Aunt Jane." Mrs. Prentiss opened this story with a conversation and through this conversation, we are introduced to these two principals.
We learn from their discourse--we are given more than a glimpse into the character and disposition of each of the participants. We become aware of Horace's neediness while listening to his declaration of having fallen in love with a certain young lady; we discover as well the extreme concern this brought to his godly friend. Eventually, we realize that there are clues given as to why this particular woman had an almost filial attachment to this young man who was not related to her by blood. It is a perfect introduction to what follows.
But what stands out most for me as we gather evidence regarding the state of affairs of Horace's life at that time, is the godly counsel he received during that conversation. From the time I first read this opening chapter, I've wanted to be like Aunt Jane. If someone I love comes to me in the same state as Horace did, I hope I would give to them what she gave to him that evening. His response was realistic. What we have to say won't always be received well. But my hope for myself, and for you, is that we'll give them what is true and loving: righteous guidance, whatever the response. And then add prayer when they've gone.
"It must be comfortable to have such faith in one's own prayers," he said, thoughtlessly.
Her eyes filled with tears.
"It is not faith in my prayers, but faith in Him who dictates them," she said. "Dear Horace, don't stay away so long again; bear with my little sermons for the sake of my love to you."
"I will," he said, "but you will never make me feel as you do."
So it may be that the conversation ends like this one. But you and I know the power of prayer, don't we?