The woman who would be known as “the mother to the motherless” came from privileged Irish roots. But it was her experience in South India when Amy Carmichael encountered a seven year old girl about to be given in temple prostitution to a particular sect of Hinduism. These girls known as devadasi were “dedicated” to worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life, but it was an unspeakable cruelty that Carmichael could not endure.
In 1932, a fall severely injured Carmichael, and she remained bedridden for much of her final two decades. However, it did not stop her from continuing her inspirational writing, for she published 16 additional books.
The prayer known as Flame of God caught my attention many years ago when a friend of mine put a simple melody to it. I have always referred to it by a refrain in it:
FROM ALL THAT DIMS
From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on me
From fearing when I should aspire
From faltering when I should climb higher
From subtle love of softening things
From easy choices – weakenings
Not thus are spirits fortified
Not this way went the Crucified
From all that dims thy Calvary
Oh Lamb of God, deliver me!
Give the love that leads Thy way,
The faith nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire
The passion that burns like fire
Let me no sink to be a clod
Make me thy fuel – Flame of God.