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?


Susan Kelly Skitt said...

So true. I've been learning to speak the truth in love and then leave it with the Lord. It's the Holy Spirit that convicts and moves in a person's heart, not me... even though our heart breaks when we see loved ones making wrong choices. It must break God's heart even more...

Mishel said...

You know what? I *think* I may have actually read this book. I know I mentioned that I have it, but after reading your post--I'm thinking I did read it. Hmm, how I wish I could get to my book (it's packed away!) to see if I have. Thanks for sharing this!! : )

Have a good weekend Maxine!

Beverly said...

Amen! (I'm going to read the book for the fourth time -- you have re-whetted my appetite.

Anonymous said...

Simply beautiful, Maxine. I have never read this book, but I surely will now. I like what you wrote, "Then add prayer when they're gone." write so ....well,it soothes and refreshes me!
Blessings to you, Maxine.

Cami said...

Wow. I know just how Aunt Jane feels. And it is hard to love someone with a filial love, with no other reason than God has ordained it; to share the love of God in all its power and purity, and then watch someone potentially slip away, bogged down by false cares of this world. Yes, I've been there. BUT, as you say, we know the power of PRAYER!! I love how Aunt Jane puts it, "faith in Him who dictates them"...I do not believe we can manufacture faith within ourselves, it is a gift from the One we walk in relationship with; this is the power of prayer. : )