If you have just been introduced to Lilias Trotter or, perhaps, have only a nodding acquaintance with her – but wish to know more – then A Passion for the Impossible is just the book for you.
Passion is the story of the woman whose life of faith and devotion inspired the hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Although art critic John Ruskin enthusiastically proclaimed Lilias Trotter’s potential as one of the best artists of the nineteenth century, her devotion to Christ compelled her to abandon the life of art, privilege and leisure she could have enjoyed. Without knowing the language and without the sponsorship of any organization, Lilias left her London home of comfort for a modest dwelling in Algeria, where her love of literature and art became dynamic tools for evangelism, and where her compassionate heart captured the hearts of the people. For forty years, despite frail health and many obstacles, Lilias devoted herself to missionary service among the people of Algeria through her lifestyle of love and encouragement. “[Christians’] works do follow them.” wrote Lilias. In writing of this truth, she prophetically supplied a perspective of her own legacy– and the legacy of all who invest in the kingdom of God.
Biographer Miriam Huffman Rockness has drawn from out-of-print sources written by Lilias’s contemporaries as well as from the primary sources of her diaries and travel journals to provide a compelling and comprehensive presentation of this remarkable woman. Threaded throughout this biography are quotations from Lilias’s personal writings that reveal the depth of her appreciation of the natural world and her spiritual pilgrimage nurtured by God’s “textbooks”: His Word and His World.
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“I am astounded by… the beautiful expression of who Lilias was and what her legacy teaches us. I couldn’t put [the book] down, as they say, and I read it — devoured it-carefully, gladly, and with great blessing…a “drop everything book”! — Elisabeth Elliot, author and speaker
“Trotter’s printed word and art can indeed inspire a new generation. But only those who knew her can appreciate ‘perhaps her most palpable legacy’: her love. As an obituary noted, ‘No wonder that Catholics and Jews and Moslems, as well as Protestants, are mourning her loss, for love, in the end, wins love.'” — Evelyn Bence © 2004, FaithfulReader.com
“Miriam Rockness [has done] a painstakingly superb job of researching original documents. Her book is [filled] with quotes that will challenge the reader’s faith and obedience to God… A fresh look at another one of England’s distinguished missionary pioneers.” — Jim Reapsome, review for Evangelical Missions Quarterly
“After viewing the wonderful film, Many Beautiful Things about the life of Lilias Trotter, I was interested in knowing more about her. Miriam Rockness has written a fascinating and much researched account of Lilias in this biography. She skillfully weaves entries from her diaries and writings producing a beautiful tapestry representing the life of a good and faithful servant of God. I savored every page of her book and look forward to learning more about this brave and courageous missionary to the Arabs of North Africa.” — Amazon reader