The wisdom of Shelley Mydans

“The humanists works are an end in themselves,  and are basically selfish, That is what I believe drove me to become a Christian. I couldn’t bear to live that way.  He wants us to live beyond ourselves for His glory. There is no way out of the human dilemma apart from God.  We are born condemned to death and He offers Life.” Shelley Mydans,

I recently came across a short biography of this Shelley Mydans who was, for much of her life. a humanist and an atheist.  She and her husband, as war correspondents  ,witnessed the suffering of the great depression,  the intense suffering of  millions of Chinese during  the japanese sino war,  and the  personal suffering of being interned as a prisoner of war in Shanghi. She saw life, as it is ,in all of its pain and darkness , and only toward the end of her life did she allow God to speak to her of love and life.  I quote the article written by Gladys Hunt

One dreary London day , Shelley was hanging up clothes in the basement of their home.  Her mind had been arguing over the problem of human suffering, and her spirit was agonizing sympathetically with her thought processes. She had been reading Camus on the subject and had recently come face to face with the concept of the fall in Genesis. Pushing the clothespins over the wet clothes on the line, she suddenly cried out to God for some answer.  Overcome with the awfulness of man’s sin, of the loathsomeness of her own self, she said aloud, Oh God, how can you forgive us?   God’s answer was such a loving voice of forgiveness that it is difficult to describe.  The basement seemed flooded with love. ” Of course I forgive. That’s what the cross is all about”.  Whether the words were actually spoken aloud or not, they seemed that way to Shelley. ” I knew that God was not just the great creator, way out there. He was also Jesus Christ ,and He loved and forgave me.” … After she had committed herself to God, Shelley said she felt flooded with life.  She experienced His comfort, as well as His love.  Suddenly even death seemed different. She was given a new concept of what was involved in the glory of God.

Shelley went on to write a novel about Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, In one telling little vignette  about Becket she writes :

And for the first time a dreadful clarity came on him, and in a little voice, full of surprise , dismay, he said aloud,, ” why am I so loathsome”   “NEVERTHELESS  I LOVE”.  Whose voice was that?,   How shattering yet how fulfilling to feel love for the first time.

Perhaps not so obviously , that was surely God’s voice to Thomas .  No matter who we are or where we fallen to, we can be assured of God’s voice to us, NEVERTHELESS I LOVE. ..






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