Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | March 18, 2008

Holiday Work

   Writing of a holiday taken in Switzerland in the alps:

   . . .how we wished that a wish could have transported the whole Association of Female Workers and Young Women’s Christian Association, whom we left in London, bodily to the spot, to share the wonderful rest and enjoyment which our Fahter was giving us!  A “holiday” most certainly; but how about “work”?  So much of that, that we never wanted more opportunities, but only more earnestness and faithfulness, and courage and love, to use them. . .
At the little inns where we slept, we nearly always found young waitresses.   A few kind words and smiles secured their absolute devotion to us, and we were waited on like duchesses. . .
At Zermatt, where we stayed five days in the clean, cheap and unpretending Hotel des Alpes (which we strongly recommend), there were two maidens, and we agreed each to make special effort with one.  Alexandrine had evidently never thought about religion; but Marie, a singularly gentle and loveable girl, seemed an instance of “soil prepared.” She had thought much of death, and with terror; she had tried to be worthy of heaven, and had failed, and wondered why she felt so bad when she really wished to be good.  She said she knew that Jesus died for sinners, but had no idea what good that was to do for her, as of course she must gain her own salvation and then He might save her.  She had never seen a Testament, and not one of the many English ladies whom she had served had ever spoken to her about these things.
Every evening she contrived to come to my room, and we read the German Testament and prayed together.  She listened eagerly, and as if it were indeed a matter of life and death.  I cannot say that when we left she was able to rejoice in Christ, but I think that she had, though tremblingly, touched the hem of His garment; she was trusting to none other, and saw that it must be “Jesus only,” and the whole desire of her heart seemed to be toward Him.

–Frances Ridley Havergal from SWISS LETTERS AND ALPINE POEMS

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