Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Most Thrilling Story

When Adoniram Judson returned to the United States after over thirty years of being in Burma, he found a country totally different from the one he left in 1813 and soon discovered that he was considered a saint and a legend to the people there. He was obliged to go to all these meetings and be stared at by thousands of people who saw him to be a famous, amazing super-man instead of the real human being that he was. The people expected to hear amazing stories of frontier missions when they came to hear Adoniram. They were often disappointed. Here is an account taken from Courtney Anderson's biography To the Golden Shore.

"Although the day was rainy, the church had been crowded wtih people who had learned he [Adoniram Judson] would have something to say. After the sermon he had spoken for sme fifteen minutes 'with singular simplicity, and...touching pathos,' as Emily [his fiance, soon to be his third wife] thought, of the love of the Saviour, 'what He has done for us, and what we owe to Him.'

"'As he sat down [Emily recollected]... it was evident, even to the most unobservant eye, that most of the listeners were disappointed. After the exercises were over, several persons inquired of me, frankly, why Dr. Judson had not talked of something else; why he had not told a story... On the way home, I mentioned the subject to him.

" ' "Why, what did they want?" he inquired; "I presented the most interesting subject in the world, to the best of my ability."

" ' "But they wanted something different-- a story.'

" ' "Well, I am sure I gave them a story-- the most thrilling one that can be conceived of.'

" ' "But they had heard it before. They wanted something new of a man who had just come from the antipodes.

" ' "Then I am glad they have it to say, that a man coming from the antipodes had nothing better to tell than the wondrous story of Jesus' dying love." ' "

-Anderson, Courtney: To the Golden Shore (Judson Press, Valley Forge, 1987), pages 461, 462


Rosebud said...

Hm. The singular focus we all should have.

Alaina said...

How true that is!