Meeting Ms. Havergal

I have made so many “friends” along my homeschool journey–Charles Willson Peale, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Christopher Columbus, Louisa May Alcott, Benjamin West. Then yesterday a new friend came into my life– Frances Ridley Havergal. We met quite by chance, bumping into one another at a local thrift store. And I am sure I will ever be the same.

The little book I picked up for two dollars was a well-worn copy of Havergal’s Kept for the Master’s Use. (I have since discovered that she wrote several books for children, which I am now eagerly seeking!) The unassuming tome is thoughful application of Scripture in a personal way, using our lives and bodies to illustrate her points, using her hymn “Take My Life and Let it Be.” Chapters include: “Our Hands Kept for Jesus,” “Our Voices Kept for Jesus,” “Our Silver and Gold Kept for Jesus,” “Our Lips Kept For Jesus,” and so forth. Here is a sample from her chapter entitled “Our Feet Kept for Jesus:”

The figurative keeping of the feet of His saints, with the promise that when they run they shall not stumble, is a most beautiful and helpful subject. But it is quite distinct from the literal keeping for Jesus our literal feet.

There is a certain homeliness about the idea which helps to make it very real. These very feet of ours are purchased for Christ’s service  by the preciious drops which fell from His own torn and pierced feet upon the cross. They are to be His errand-runners. How can we let the world, the flesh and the devil have the use of what has been purchased with such a payment?

FR Havergal

And she has this to say about Jesus’ hands in the final chapter entitled “Christ for Us:”

His Hands “for thee.” Literal hands, literally pierced, when the whole weight of His quivering frame hung from the torn muscles and bared nerves; literally uplifted in parting blessing. Consecrated, priestly hands; “filled” hands (Ex. xxviii. 41, xxix. 9, etc., margin)– filled once with His great offering, and now with His gifts and blessings “for thee.” Tender hands, touching and healing, lifting and leading with the gentlest of care. Strong hands, upholding and defending. Open hands, filling with good and satisfying desire (Ps. civ. 28 and cxlv. 16). Faithful hands, restraining and sustaining. “His left hand is under my head and His right hand doth embrace me.”

FR Havergal

Ms. Havergal’s poetic prose and call to consecration are inspiring. I know I will pore over her book for years to come, allowing my new friend to challenge and inspire me, beckoning me higher and higher in Him. So I’m off to put on a pot of tea and sit with my new friend and listen to her thoughts on the Saviour I so dearly love.

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