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an amazing person

27 Dec

A ponderable description:

Life for most people is governed by authority and convention, but behind these there lies always the mystery of human nature, uncertain and elusive, and apt now and again to go off at a tangent and disturb the smooth working of organised routine. Some man or woman will appear who departs from the normal order of procedure, who follows ideals rather than rules, and whose methods are irregular, and often, in the eyes of onlookers, unwise. They may be poor or frail, and in their own estimation of no account, yet it is often they who are used for the accomplishment of important ends. Such a one was Mary Slessor

From the Prefaratory Note to “Mary Slessor” ISBN: 0916441-490

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12 Comments

Posted by on Thursday, December 27, 2007 in encouragement

 

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12 responses to “an amazing person

  1. cath

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    Can you spell out a bit more what was the benefits of this unconventionality in Mary Slessor’s case? Obviously it isn’t inevitably a good thing to be irregular and off on a tangent! 🙂

     
  2. rach

    Friday, December 28, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Very true!

    Situation is… I can’t remember the details at the moment :-$ I read the quote ages ago, and saved it ‘cos I thought it sounded neat. 😉

    As I remember she was faced with – and coped with – very irregular circumstances in her life, and a more conventional person wouldn’t have had the ingenuity to come up with the creative solutions that she did.

    But then that’s kindof what providence is all about, I think: having a course in life that suits the temperament and skills God has given us: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:28]

    But 😦 sorry its ages since I read the book, so I can’t really give you much details more than this vague impression left on my memory.

    I guess I just found it reassuring that unconventionality can still be useful, and is not neccessarily something that needs to be resisted (tho’ it may be better to in perhaps the majority of situations).

     
  3. rach

    Friday, December 28, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Aww…and I was almost doing good, word-count-wise! 😛

     
  4. cath

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    No it’s a good quote, i just don’t know anything about her and wondered if you could fill in any background. She was a missionary?

     
  5. rach

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    Nigeria; childrens orphanage, that sort of thing. The book was about the day-to-day challenges she had. Not unusual challenges for her situation, but nevertheless remarkable that she had the resourcefulness to continue to do good in the midst of it all.

    To ad lib a little:
    – problems with money/funding
    – irregular communication/advice with friends/church back home (+ lonliness)
    – medical concerns
    – local relationships: swinging between support and opposition (understanding, accepting, adapting to culture as far as her conscience would allow).
    – overloaded with opportunities to help those around her, but having limited resources and energy

     
  6. Grant

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    I expect her Dundonian upbringing shaped her into the apparently decent person that she was 😉

    However, it’s disturbing to read what is now happening in Nigeria in the name of the Christianity that she introduced there in the 19th Century.

     
  7. cath

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Not quite the Christianity that she introduced obviously 🙂

    Dubious theology (that fails to recognise that evils spirits have already been dealt with, at the cross for example) doesn’t always bring such horror in its train but departures from orthodoxy (or lack of acquaintance with it) can never be a good thing

     
  8. rach

    Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Grant: 😛 Dundonian? hrm, yeah… touche!

    Disturbing indeed… and by no means a positive reflection on the name of Christianity. But, as Cath hinted, perhaps not a consistent use of the name 🙂

    Catherine: hear, hear!

    Apparently the discussion surrounding the Biblical position of baptised children is “reaching our circles”. Put briefly, refuting both the description of “little devils” and that of born innocence.

    I didn’t realise it was an issue – I thought CHS being baptist and the rest of us being not-baptist had kindof pretty much settled the intricacies of those topics long ago… but hearing there’s questions being asked is making me realise I need to brush up/discover the truth of it for myself.

    *will quiz her Dad more tomorrow if she remembers*

     
  9. cath

    Monday, December 31, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Baptism? sounds interesting – want to put it in a separate post? Don’t see the connnection with child abuse under pretence of demon possession meself. Without knowing anything about Mary Slessor the background she came from is familiar enough and fairly safe to assume they’d have seen it as a kind of psychotic supersition. Demon possession is different from witchcraft tho both unpleasant and def much more rare than commonly/superstitiously believed. Quite apart from the obvious absurdity of trying to deal with spiritual problems with physical solutions. (and the equally obvious cruelty of dealing with children like this)

    If you do do a spearate post could u quiz your dad about presumptive regeneration too, i’ve been wanting an excuse to rant about that for a while 🙂

     
  10. Peter Reynolds

    Monday, December 31, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    Ref: presumptive regeneration he’d probably say “that’s a Dutch issue” (I can’t remember what issue it was he said that to my parents about – I just remember him saying it – it was something to do with the Protestant Reformed Churches).

     
  11. Melon Zest

    Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Rachel,
    of all the “…off at a tangent…”, “…disturb the smooth working of organised routine…”, “…disturb the smooth working of organised routine…”, you could only think of poor unknown Mary Slessor… now if you looked a bit closer to home, you would have found a someone who’s regular at irregularities…
    .
    .
    .
    King Henry the 8th 😛 😛 😛

     
  12. rach

    Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Speaking of tangents… 😛

    But, bleaurgh….. surely you could think of someone a little more inspiring than Mr The 8th!?

    According to the book I’m reading currently, lots of larger than life people get known purely by their first names: Hillary, Rudy, Arnold, Elvis, Madonna, Britney. And there is also the qualifying initial W. (yes, its an American book!)

    “glass beaker girl” is of course the exception that proves the rule 😛 [/deliberate (tho’ commonly accepted/acceptable) misuse of cliche]

     

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