Amy grew up in a big house in Ireland and had lots of fun with her brothers and sisters. But one day her father died, and the family had to move to a big city and a smaller home. They could no longer afford help with the house our garden. And since Amy was the oldest child, she had to help her mother raise the younger children.
But that wasn't too hard. Amy had learned to love God first of all, and she wanted more than anything to know and follow Jesus. She loved His Word and believed all His wonderful promises. She wasn't afraid, for she knew that Jesus would be with her always.
She also knew that God wanted her to show His love to others. Once, before her father died, she had traveled to a big city with her mother. They stopped at a tea-room for lunch. While they were eating, Amy noticed a little girl outside. Her face was dirty and her hair was straggly as she pressed her nose against the window. Her sad eyes looked right into Amy's.
Amy could never forget the poor little girl. So when she was back home again, she wrote her a special promise. She gave it to God, since she couldn't deliver it to the poor child.
When I grow up and money have,
I know what I will do,
I’ll build a great big lovely place
For little girls like you.
Amy didn't know that one day, God would send her all the way to India to fulfill that promise.
Walking home from church one Sunday, something else happened that forever changed Amy's life. She and her two oldest brothers -- dressed in their best clothes -- were way ahead of the others, when she spotted a poor beggar woman, dressed in tattered old clothes. Her feet were wrapped with strips of rags, now heavy with mud. Over her bent shoulders hung a large bundle of sticks.
When Amy and her brothers saw the old woman stagger and almost fall, they hurried to catch up with her. The older boy lifted the bundle off her back, and hung it over his shoulders. The other two each took the woman's arms and helped her along.
Since they couldn't move very fast, other church people caught up with them. A special book titled "Amy Carmichael Rescuer of Precious Gems" tells us what happened next:
"One by one, church members stared at the strange sight as they walked by. Amy felt her face getting hotter as each person from church passed them, especially when one woman hurried her children to the other side of the road to avoid the four of them altogether.
"Embarrassed, Amy and her brothers kept their heads down, not even looking at each other and hoping no one important came along and saw them. There was a fountain in the center of the road, and trying to take her mind off walking along beside the beggar woman, Amy studied it closely. It was made of blocks of cut stone, and the water sprayed out from three spouts at its center. As she studied it, Amy suddenly stopped. Someone was talking to her. She clearly heard a voice say,
“Gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw.. . the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.”
"Amy turned to see who was speaking. There was no one there. But she had heard a voice, plain
and clear. Puzzled, she walked on with the old woman on her arm. As she did, something felt very different inside. Amy was no longer embarrassed. In fact, she walked with her head held high for all to see. The trio escorted the old woman to where she wanted to go and then ran to catch up to their mother and the other children to finish the walk home.
"After lunch, Amy went to her room. She knelt down by her bed. She knew the words she’d heard at the fountain were from the Bible.... The words were from 1 Corinthians, chapter three, verses twelve through fourteen. Amy read them again. What was their meaning to her? ...
"After several hours of praying and thinking, Amy finally decided she knew what the words from the verse meant to her. For one thing, she would no longer waste time on things that weren’t important in God’s eyes. When all the things she’d done in her life were finally judged by God, she wanted them to be found worthwhile. She wanted them to be seen as gold and silver, not hay and stubble. For another thing, she would never again worry about what people thought of her. If what she was doing was pleasing to God, that would be enough for her. If other people, even other Christians, didn’t want to walk with beggars, that was their business, but Amy would walk with them."
How did Amy know what was "important in God's eyes?" She read and learned from His Word. She discovered what God loved! And her goal was to please God, even if it upset some people. She could trust God in all things because she remembered God's wonderful promise:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
Amy Carmichael - Rescuer of Precious Gems -- Part 2