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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Last Day of April

My mother-in-law has planted her garden. According to the almanac, this last day of April is the best day to put seeds into the ground and expect a harvest. She's next door to me for the first time in many years. The last time I lived next door to her, my 28-year-old son was a baby, and I hadn't discovered my own love for the garden. This year, I'll pay more attention to the process, though my own affinity runs more toward flowers than food. You never know, though, maybe I'll absorb something by osmosis, just by being close.

The end of April also means National Poetry Month is coming to a close. I have enjoyed posting poems and reading them on some of my favorite blogs. So, one last poem to end the month. This is from Amy Carmichael, an Irish missionary who spent 53 years in South India. She founded Dohnavur Fellowship, a refuge for children. From Elisabeth Elliot's biography of her: "In a far more secular and self-preoccupied time, Amy Carmichael's vision of the unseen and her ardent effort to dwell in its light, making any sacrifice for its sake, seems hardly believable..." Yet "Amma," loved by hundreds children, was just such a woman.

Dust and Flame

But I have seen a fiery flame
Take to his pure and burning heart
Mere dust of earth, to it impart
His virtue, till that dust became
Transparent loveliness of flame.

O Fire of God, Thou fervent Flame,
Thy dust of earth in Thee would fall,
And so be lost beyond recall,
Transformed by Thee, its very name
Forgotten in Thine own, O Flame.

--Amy Carmichael

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