Suffering Means God Loves Us
Mimosa meets superstitions again in Scene 17 of He Is Near. By this time, she has three living sons and one infant son has died. She has just given birth to a fifth child. Her nosey neighbors arrive to find out whether she has had a boy or a girl. They are appalled when they learn that this child is another boy because to them a fifth boy is unlucky.
“He will be cursed for sure!” says one neighbor.
“Let him perish,” says another.
“Give him away!” says a third.
“Kill him,” says another.
Mimosa is incredulous: “Let my baby perish? Give him to a stranger? Kill him?”
Mimosa tells them, “Please leave. Go away from here. This baby is my God’s true gift to me.”
Then she prays: “Oh, my Father, let this fifth child grow in strength and beauty so that all will see he is fair to You. Oh, that they might be compelled to admit that You are stronger than all their gods.”
Soon Mimosa finds herself without any food at all in the house. While Kinglet works in the market, she and her two younger boys, Rahava and Mischief, are at home. Mimosa assures them God will take care of them. She reminds them that they praised God when they had food. Now they will praise God when they have none. Soon her sons fall asleep. Mimosa praises God. She asks Him to be the hen who takes care of her little chicks. She asks God to give them contentment and peace.
The cousin who read Star’s letter to Mimosa then arrives, bringing leftovers from his family’s evening meal. He asks Mimosa if they have food and then tells her that for some reason unknown to him, he couldn’t get settled or quit thinking about her. Mimosa wakes her little boys and tells them that their cousin has brought them food. When the cousin leaves, Rahava asks if their cousin believes in their God. When Mimosa tells Rahava that the cousin does not believe, he asks why he brought them food. She says that it is because the Gardener has not forgotten His little plants.
Meanwhile at the market, Kinglet is frustrated that he struggles to learn the math the merchant is teaching him. Deva ridicules his son for not understanding, calling him a blockhead. Kinglet asks his father if it is fair to call him a blockhead, when he has not sent him to school. Then Kinglet asks if he can go to Dohnavur Fellowship so that he can receive an education like his aunt Star.
At Dohnavur Fellowship, Star and Amy Carmichael discuss Mimosa and her sons. Star tells Amy that for three months she has been praying that Mimosa’s sons will have a desire to come to Dohnavur.
Just then, one of the girls at Dohnavur brings Star a letter from Mimosa. Her letter says that Kinglet has been begging to go to Dohnavur for the last three months. Mimosa tells Star that she wants to bring both of her oldest sons to Dohnavur.
Star asks, “Is it not as I prayed?” The three then sing “He Is Near.”
As Mimosa and her sons discuss the great news that Deva has consented for the two oldest boys to go to Dohnavur, . . .
Deva comes out of the house and emphatically declares that he has changed his mind and that they will not go, stating that it would go against their caste.
Mimosa makes the difficult decision that she will take her boys anyway and tells Deva so in the village as she is about to leave.
When the townspeople say that the white people will give them white powder medicine, Kinglet becomes afraid and decides not to go. He leaves with his father. Rahava joins him. Deva says that their “fortunate fourth” child will stay with him. Mimosa is left with only her baby. She tells God, “I am an emptiness for you to fill.”
But soon, Rahava returns, telling Mimosa that Deva has locked up Kinglet.
But soon Kinglet joins them, telling Mimosa that when he heard her crying, he found a way to escape. Leaving Mischief with his father, Mimosa and her other three sons leave for Dohnavur Fellowship.
When Mimosa and her sons arrive, Amy tells her, “How often I have prayed for you!” Mimosa is surprised that Amy remembers her because she was only there one time. When Mimosa introduces her boys to her sister Star and to Amy, Amy asks what the name of the baby is. Mimosa tells Amy that he does not yet have a name and tells that her neighbors tried to get her to get rid of him. Amy suggests that Mimosa call her baby, “God’s gift.” Mimosa joyfully agrees.
While visiting at Dohnavur, Mimosa tells Amy and her sister Star about her life. When Amy asks how she has come to know the Father so intimately, Mimosa replies, “You know Him by learning, but I know Him by suffering.”
There are some lessons we cannot learn any other way. Suffering does not mean God doesn’t love us. It means that He does.
In the days of His flesh,
He offered up both prayers and supplications
with loud crying and tears
to the One able to save Him from death,
and He was heard because of His piety.
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience
from the things which He suffered.
And having been made perfect,
He became to all those who obey Him
the source of eternal salvation . . . .
This post is the eighth in a series about the play He Is Near, performed by the Homeschool Dramatic Society in mid-September. You can read the other posts in this series at these links: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh.
He Is Near is based on Mimosa by Amy Carmichael, © 1924 by The Dohnavur Fellowship; Gold Cord by Amy Carmichael, © 1932 by The Dohnavur Fellowship; Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur by Frank L. Houghton, © 1953 by The Dohnavur Fellowship; and Mountain Breezes: The Collected Poems of Amy Carmichael, ©1999 by The Dohnavur Fellowship. Used by permission of CLC Publications. For more information about Amy Carmichael and The Dohnavur Fellowship, or to purchase her books, visit clcpublications.com.