And the results need not end with our earthly days. Should Jesus tarry our works will follow us . . . God may use, by reason of the wonderful solidarity of His Church, the things that He has wrought in us, for the blessing of souls unknown to us: as these twigs and leaves of bygone years, whose individuality is forgotten, pass on vitality still to the new-born wood-sorrel. God only knows the endless possibilities that lie folded in each one of us!
Little did Lilias realize how her words, quoted above, would prophesize her own life . . .
Crosswalk.com recently published an article, “20 Christian Women Who Shaped History.” We were pleasantly surprised to find Lilias Trotter on that all-star line up of amazing women that included Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, and Corrie ten Boom – to name a few.
The article introduced the twenty women with these words: “. . .there are many Christian women in our past who shaped their communities, their countries, and even the world for the better. For each of them, their faith played a major role in their outlook on the world. And their impact can still be felt today.”
It is amazing to see Lilias on this list, as just a few years ago she was not well-known. In recent years, through a variety of vehicles and venues – including the film Many Beautiful Things, which has played a significant role in introducing Lilias to the world – Lilias’s legacy has been resurrected. Here are just a few examples:
- Screenings worldwide of the film Many Beautiful Things – in film festivals, movie theaters, college campuses, and churches.
- The re-issuing of some of Lilias’s work including Parables of the Cross and some of her sketchbooks.
- The publishing of several works that contain her words and paintings for people to enjoy today.
- This website and social media venues (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), giving Lilias an online presence in today’s technology-oriented world.
- Two physical locations – Wheaton College, Illinois and the University of London – housing Lilias Trotter archives, many items which were not that long ago still hidden in boxes.
What really counts is when lives are touched and souls are blessed. And Lilias continues to do that now, almost a century after her life her on earth ended, as seen by the following quotes:
“I am deeply touched in my soul by this 19th-century woman’s deep desire to serve others for the Lord . . . I want to be like her: faithful to my true calling from the Lord.”
“The legacy left by Lilias Trotter can truly not be measured! It is a legacy truly worth living into- to follow her example as she followed Christ- in utter, sacrificial, joyful, beautiful abandon.”
” I can’t wait to meet Lilias in heaven and tell her how she inspired me.”
Lilias Trotter never looked for fame. She followed her calling and lived her days in obscurity, loving and sharing the love of Christ to the Muslims of North Africa. She never saw the church visible in North Africa that she longed to see. But the results of her works did not end with her earthly days.
The article, “20 Women Who Changed History,” ends with this challenge: “Think about their lives, their legacies, and ask yourself — what small thing might God be calling you to that could have ripple effects that change the world?”
God only knows the endless possibilities that lie folded in each one of us!