Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Letter From Mary Love - My Dear Heart

I first heard of Mary Love's letter to her husband when my family and I were at the Resolved Conference a few weeks back in late June.  Rick Holland read her letter within his sermon, The Believer's Right Response to Difficulty.   I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience, but that's not the reason for me posting her letter is to make you cry.  If I were to have a poster child for my blog, other than Jesus Christ, it would be Mary Love. Let me set the scene for you.  Mary Love is married to Christopher Love, a brilliant young Welsh preacher.  She is 8 months pregnant with their 5th child, two living and two deceased.  Her husband, Christopher Love is imprisoned for treason by the English government and as far as she knew to be executed the next morning.  These were the last words that she had for her husband. 

My Dear Heart
July 14, 1651

Before I write a word further, I beseech thee think not that it is thy wife but a friend now that writes  to thee.  I hope though hast freely given up thy wife and children to God, who hath said in Jeremiah 49:11, "Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widow trust in me."  Thy Maker will be my husband, and a Father to thy children.  O that the Lord would keep thee from having one troubled thought for thy relations.  I desire freely to give thee up into they Father's hands, and not only look upon it as a crown of glory for thee to die for Christ, but as an honor to me that I should have a husband to leave for Christ.
I dare not speak to thee, nor have a thought within my own heart of my unspeakable loss,but wholly keep my eye fixed upon they inexpressible and inconceivable gain.  Thou leavest but a sinful, mortal wife to be everlastingly married to the Lord of glory.  Thou leavest but children, brothers, and sisters to go to the Lord Jesus, they eldest Brother.  Thou leavest friends on earth to go to the enjoyment of saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory.  Thou does but leave earth for heaven and changest a prison for a palace.  And if natural affections should begin to arise, I hope that spirit of grace that is within thee will quell them, knowing that all thinks here below are but dung and dross in comparison of those things that are above.  I know thou keepest thine eye fixed on the hope of glory, which makes they feet trample on the loss of earth.
My dear, I know God hath not only prepared glory for thee, and thee for it, but I am persuaded that He will sweeten the way for thee to come to the enjoyment of it.  When thou are putting on they clothes that morning, O think, "I am putting on my wedding garments to go to
be everlastingly married to my Redeemer."
When the messenger of death comes to thee, let him not seem dreadful to thee, but look on him as a messenger that brings thee tidings of eternal life.  When thou goest up the scaffold, think (as thou saidst to me) that it is but thy fiery chariot to carry thee up to thy Father's house.
And when thou layest down they precious head to receive thy Father's stroke, remember what thou saidst to me: Though thy head was severed from thy body, yet in a moment thy soul should be united to they Head, the Lord Jesus, in heaven.  And though it may seem something bitter, that by hands of men we are parted a little sooner than otherwise we might have been, yet let us consider that it is the decree and will of our Father, and it will not be long ere we shall enjoy
one another in heaven again. 
Let us comfort one another with these sayings.  Be comforted, my dear heart.  It is but a little stroke and thou shalt be there where the weary shall be at rest and where the wicked shall cease from troubling.  Remember that thou mayest eat thy dinner with bitter herbs, yet thou shalt have a sweet supper with Christ that night.  My dear, by what I write unto thee, I do not hereby undertake to teach thee; for these comforts I have received from the Lord by thee.  I will write no more, nor trouble thee any further, but commit thee into the arms of God with whom ere long thee and I shall be.
Farewell, my dear, I shall never see thy face more till we both behold the face of the Lord Jesus at that great day.
Mary Love

Her letter reveals it all.  Christ is her Husband who is her All in All.  My prayer is that we may be women, like Mary Love, who don't allow our circumstances to shake up our faith but know that our lives our written out by His Sovereign hand, which results in us to stand on the solid ground of Jesus Christ.  At the end of the day,  He is our Groom.

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21


Janie-sue said...

I totally loved this amazing letter, and I'm so thankful that you shared it with us. Here is a woman who truly had our Messiah has her dearest treasure--and her godly example speaks powerfully to my heart.

Geldie said...

There is another letter - I will post as well. It touched me to the core as well. May I live like she did - Christ as her "first love".

María Ignacia said...

WOW, thank you for posting such amazing and inspiring letter.
Just a weeks ago i read the book : Radical by David Platt, and he mentioned this testimony and i was so impacted, and now i find your blog and the letter (i have translated to spanish the letter, in our laguage there are not much texts about the ancient church or about the martyr's life, so it's a priceless letter for me),Wow, and even more your blog is about Jesus as our groom, and God has been teaching me about this, that HE IS my HUSBAND, I'm amazed about that.
I'll keep reading your blog,i'm from Chile.
Greetings from the south.
María Ignacia.

Geldie said...

Maria - thank you so much for the encouragement. We are not only sisters in the Lord but also Latin sisters. I am Cuban American. My parents fled to the USA in the 60's from Cuba. God is in the details of our lives and He led you to my blog. Whether God has given us an earthly groom or not, HE IS OUR ETERNAL GROOM and only HE can satisfy our needs. So exciting that you translated Mary Love's letter into Spanish. There is another letter but this one expresses so much more of her heart.

María Ignacia said...

:D Do you speak spanish?
What a joy to know that we have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world.
I encouraged to keep writing, it's good to read a wiser woman in the Lord, my mom is not yet a Christian, and sometimes i miss a wiser woman around me. Thank you Geldie!

Geldie said...

yes I speak Spanish but I understand more than I speak. It was my first language ...I went to school speaking Spanish and came back speaking English my mom said.
I am very encouraged that you are encouraged. Are you on Facebook? If so, I post more there than I do here but I'm hoping to change that. I have had older women in my life and still do and I cherish them greatly..(mi Abuela recently got saved)I would be honored to be that older woman in your life. Very encouraging as well that the Lord has believers in Chile who love Him with all their heart, mind, soul & strength.