Many years ago, 35 years ago, to be exact, my first book was published. That is, my first book EVER.
With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael.
Here is the book’s first cover:
And here is the cover it was given a few years later:
And THIS, my friends, is the cover it just received, because it went out of print and I recently republished it. (With everything else that’s going on, I forgot to let you know.)
If you remember this book as one that you and/or your children enjoyed, please consider leaving a review, here. (The former edition had many reviews, but the new edition is just getting started that way.)
Five years ago when With Daring Faith was celebrating its 30th anniversary, I wrote the following :
These days when those who’ve been abused in a Christian context connect with me, it’s not uncommon for me to hear, “Are you the same Rebecca Davis who wrote With Daring Faith? We read that in our homeschool.”
It’s one of those moments of extreme pain and great joy that I get to experience fairly often in my life these days (living in vibrant color as I do rather than in pale pastels).
Extreme pain, to learn that much of the audience I was writing for was such a different one from what I envisioned, because when I wrote it I was completely ignorant of the great cruelty running rampant in homes that claimed to be Christian.
But great joy because I hear things like, “I read that book over and over. It was one of the few bright spots in my life.”
I can’t really take credit for that, of course. I was writing a biography, and the bright spots were the hilarious moments in the life of Amy Carmichael . . . and her determination, and her adventures, and her love for her Lord and for souls.
All I did was make it accessible for children (for the first time, though at the time I didn’t know I was writing the first U.S. biography of Amy Carmichael for children).
She rescued children, you know.
She rescued little children from lives of sexual slavery in the Hindu temples of India.
When Amy Carmichael wrote letters back to her people in England to tell them what was going on in this British colony of India, at first they didn’t want to believe her.
It seemed impossible that anyone would live so barbarically, especially in a British colony, right under the noses of British businessmen and British soldiers.
But it was true. Amy wrote Things as They Are to convince them.
For the majority of those little children, being rescued from the sex slavery of Hinduism and being taken into the loving arms of a Christian, they had no trouble distinguishing what the true God was like.
The love and care and safety shown by His people facilitated their healing.
But for the precious children in homes of great cruelty who read this biography, the distinction has been far less clear.
Those former children, the ones who read my book who have contacted me, some of them have been abused, cruelly, horribly, in homes that claim the very same Christianity as the missionary who rescued children. Sometimes they had received that book from the very parents who were beating them fifty times with a two-inch thick wooden paddle . . . or requiring superhuman work from them . . . or sexually abusing them at night. . . .
So what are they to think of that God then?
And so my heart breaks.
And yet I have hope.
I have hope that these young adults and older adults (because in fact, sometimes it has been the wives and mothers in the homeschooling families who were treated so cruelly and remember this book) . . .
will see and know that the god of their cruel, abusive past (patriarchal or even matriarchal) . . . .
. . . and the God of Amy Carmichael, who dauntlessly rescued children . . .
. . . are not the same God.
And they will be released, fully released, to follow the true God in Spirit and in Truth, in all the joy and freedom and fullness He promises in His Word.
Jesus said in John 10:10 (His great “Good Shepherd” sermon),
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
It is my joy, by whatever means I can, to point to Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Way to this new life. Those who have gone before serve as examples and encouragements to me.
Thank you, Amy Carmichael.
Amen and amen…not only rescued from abusive homes but like sex slaves in India’s temples rescued from abusive religious institutions as well.
I am glad that I can finally get this for my last child still at home! I read it as a teen and some of my oldest children read it too.
I wouldn’t get it before now for my youngest because I wouldn’t have anything from BJU Press that might send a message to my child still at home that Bob Jones is a safe and good place.
Rebecca, I’ve changed my views on Christian biographies for children, but am still very selective in what biographers I allow.
It’s good to hear from you, Rachelle. I’m thankful you can get it for your child.