Sunday, September 04, 2011
A friend sent this to me by email. It is from DAILY GUIDEPOSTS 2011 - Sept 4, 2011
“ Thy word is . . . a light to my path. ”
Psalm 119:105 (RSV)
On the riverbank in the Hudson River town of Cold Spring, New York, I noticed a small sign:
VIEW TO CONSTITUTION ISLAND
PRESERVED BY AUTHORS
SUSAN WARNER AND ANNA WARNER
WHO WROTE THE HYMN
"JESUS LOVES ME"
Beyond the forested island I could see the US Military Academy at West Point on its dramatic cliffs across the river. “Jesus loves me, this I know. . . ”Easy words to write, I thought, for a well-to-do woman living in this delightful setting. Then I learned Anna Warner’s story.
She and her sister did grow up in wealth. Their widowed father was a prominent lawyer; home was a luxurious townhouse—servants, grooms, carriage house. But in the stock market panic of 1837, when the girls were in their late teens, all this was lost.
Their father bought a derelict old farmhouse on Constitution Island, fifty miles and a world away from New York City’s high society. The young women learned to cook, clean, wash, sew, keep a vegetable garden. Among many failed attempts to recoup his fortune, their father tried growing rice. I could still see the channels he dug in the marsh between the island and the shore.
To sustain themselves, Susan and Anna turned to writing stories, hymns, novels (some of them best sellers). But because there were no copyright laws, they lived out their lives in poverty. How did they know Jesus loved them? “For the Bible tells me so.” And for forty years they held Bible classes for the cadets at West Point, sharing their love of the book that made their outwardly meager lives rich and joyful.
Speak to me today, Father, through Your written Word.
By Elizabeth Sherril
Are there “coincidences”?
I immediately thought about the book by Gwendolyn Bounds, "Little Chapel On The River" because it has to be set in the same general vicinity as her devotional story. When I checked her blog, there was another so-called “coincidence” of a visit to Pirates Cove in Elberta, Alabama, very near where I now live. Now, these two narratives are linked in my mind.
Out of curiosity, I searched for the author "Elizabeth Sherril" and found a wealth of information, which also connected to another well-know book (see the top of this post) in which John and Elizabeth Sherril had a part in telling Corrie Ten Bloom's story.
Elizabeth Sherril's Website.
And, here's one more "coincidence" that brought me back to the place I lived more years than any other -- Jackson, Mississippi. Thank you, Derryl, for the GUIDEPOSTS sharing.