Monday, September 7, 2015

Amy Carmichael-A Proper British Woman

By Mary Vee
Year: December, 1895 
Amy Carmichael: 28 years old


From Amy's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Amy Carmichael and I am so excited to be here in India--now that I have recovered from the horrible dengue fever. (This sickness causes a person to feel like all their bones are broken and makes them feel uncontrollably sad. It takes weeks to get well.)  

The weather here in Bangalore brings temperatures in the 80's during December. 

The first lesson I learned in this Bangalore mission group, besides my Indian language studies, was how to be a proper British woman. 

I loved going outside in the fresh air. It only rained once in a while. The mission had a few horses and I enjoyed riding. I took one of the horses out, sat in the saddle with one leg in the stirrup and the other next to it, spread my dress neatly and signaled the horse to go.

Riding side saddle is considered the proper way to ride for British women. Why, I'll never know. If the female rider could put one leg on either side of the horse she could press with her knees to signal the horse what she wanted to do. 

But, no! I was given a whip to signal the horse. I really didn't want to do that. 

AND how could I get the horse to trot, canter, gallop, or go all out for a run? This was impossible when riding side saddle.

I walked the horse riding side saddle for as long as I could endure. Then, when no one was watching, I swung my left leg over the saddle, fixed my dress to lay neat, then nudged the horse with my knees to take off. 

The wind blew in my face. The sweet smell of plants filled the air. The sun poured on the countryside. Everything was simply wonderful!

Until..

I saw a carriage. I thought, how fun! I'd race the carriage. I didn't know whose carriage it was, but the idea seemed good. At the time.

That night, when the missionaries gathered to chat, the ladies looked down at me. "You are very irresponsible. What were you thinking racing the representative of the Queen? You are behaving like a child."

"I didn't mean to cause any harm. I've been in the hospital room recovering from the dengue fever for so long--I just wanted to enjoy the beautiful countryside."

The women missionaries shook their heads. "That is no excuse. You obviously need lessons on how to act like a proper British woman."

I didn't want to be a proper British woman. I wanted to be a missionary to the Indian people. If that meant I needed to apologize then I would. "I'm sorry. I'll try harder."

The woman raised her chin. "You do that. Your bad behavior can ruin your testimony."

I didn't want to upset the women any more, so I excused myself and went to my room. I closed my door, plopped on my bed and cried. She must be right. I have so much to learn about India and the ways of the people. I don't want to harm my testimony.

Then I thought back to all the fun I had, wiped away my tears, and giggled.


Resources used for this series:
Benge, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 1998. Print.
Davis, Rebecca Henry. With Daring Faith: A Biography of Amy Carmichael. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones UP, 1987. Print.
Dick, Lois Hoadley. Amy Carmichael: Let the Children Come. Chicago: Moody, 1984. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Amy Carmichael: Rescuing the Children. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2002. Print.
Wellman, Sam. Amy Carmichael: A Life Abandoned to God. Uhrichville, OH: Barbour Pub., 1998. Print.



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