• Imparting Healing Hope

    Posted on August 29th, 2009 bob.kellemen No comments

    Voices of Healing: African American Women of Faith

    Part V: Elizabeth Keckley: Imparting Healing Hope

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    Note: Taken from Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith. For more information on this book, please visit: http://bit.ly/YmaM1

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    Note: For Part I on Elizabeth Keckley, please visit my blog post at: http://bit.ly/FSNIt. For Part II, please visit: bit.ly/ENWjJ. For Part III, please visit: http://bit.ly/gI1H6. For Part IV, please visit: http://bit.ly/x9Axx

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    Healing Hope

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    Elizabeth Keckley not only understood how to offer sustaining comfort. She also recognized how to impart healing hope.

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    テ「竄ャナ鄭t the grave, at least, we should be permitted to lay our burden down, that a new world, a world of brightness, may open to us. The light that is denied us here should grow into a flood of effulgence beyond the dark, mysterious shadows of death.テ「竄ャツ

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    Hope-Giving Spiritual Friendship

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    The hope-giving spiritual friendship between テ「竄ャナ鏑izzyテ「竄ャツ Keckley and Mary Lincoln continued for a lifetime. The widowed Mrs. Lincoln needed it desperately. Elizabeth describes Mrs. Lincoln in these post-White House years.

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    テ「竄ャナ鄭 few words as regards the disposition and habits of Mrs. Lincoln. She is no longer the sprightly body she was when her very presence illumed the White House with gayety. Now she is sad and sedate, seeking seclusion, and maintaining communication merely with her most intimate personal friends.テ「竄ャツ

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    Lizzy, or Lizzie, as Mary affectionately called her in letter after letter, was her most intimate of friendsテ「竄ャ窶拌 friendship continued by letters until Mrs. Lincoln passed away. Unfortunately, history records only the letters written to Elizabeth from Lincoln. But even these provide more than a glimpse into the openness of this sacred friendship, and the trust and safety that that an otherwise mistrusting Mrs. Lincoln felt because of Elizabethテ「竄ャ邃「s care for her soul.

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    A Broken Heart

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    Writing on a Sunday morning, October 6, 1867, the still-grieving Mrs. Lincoln opens her heart wide to Lizzy. テ「竄ャナ溺y Dear Lizzie: I am writing this morning with a broken heart after a sleepless night of great mental suffering. . . . Pray for me that this cup of affliction may pass from me, or be sanctified to me. I weep whilst I am writing. I pray for death this morning. Only my darling Taddie prevents my taking my life. . . . Your friend, M. L.テ「竄ャツ[1]

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    One week later, Mary cries out again for Elizabethテ「竄ャ邃「s friendship. テ「竄ャナ徹h! That I could see you. Write me, dear Lizzie, if only a line. . . . I am always so anxious to hear from you, I am feeling so friendless in the world. I remain always your affectionate friend. M. L.テ「竄ャツ

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    It is obvious that Elizabeth provided sustaining and healing soul care from the preceding lines.

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    Helping Others to Be Better

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    It is equally clear that she was Mary Lincolnテ「竄ャ邃「s source of reconciling and guiding spiritual direction from the following words. テ「竄ャナ展rite me my dear friend, your candid opinion about everything. I wish to be made better off.テ「竄ャツ

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    Lincoln offers a great purpose statement for spiritual directionテ「竄ャ窶拮elping others to be better offテ「竄ャ窶捏piritually, socially, mentally, emotionally.

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    A Friend Like No Other

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    The next month, on November 9 and 15, 1867, Mary expresses further appreciation for the depth of connection that she shares with Lizzy. テ「竄ャナ滴ow hard it is that I cannot see and talk with you in this time of great, great trouble. I feel as if I had not a friend in the world save yourself. I sometimes wish myself out of this world of sorrow and care. . . .テ「竄ャツ[1]

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    テ「竄ャナ添our last letter has been received, and believe me, I duly appreciate your great interest in my affairs. I hope the day may arrive when I can return your kindness in more than words.テ「竄ャツ

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    The widowテ「竄ャ邃「s sadness is unrelenting. Her need for her best friendテ「竄ャ邃「s enduring presence is equally indefatigable. テ「竄ャナ鼎hicago, November 24. Why, why was not I taken when my darling husband was called from my side? I have been allowed no rest by those who, in my desolation, should have protected me. How dearly I should love to see you this very sad day.テ「竄ャツ

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    The End of the Story: What Is a Soul-Care Giver?

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    What is a soul care-giver? She is someone like Elizabeth Keckley who can be trusted to provide unremitting rest, protection, and presence in the saddest days of life on fallen planet Earth.

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    Note: Readers can enjoy the empowering narratives of over two-dozen African American women (and scores of African American men) narrated in Kellemen and Edwards, Beyond the Suffering. For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/XvsTu

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