Isn't "no" an answer?" /> Isn't "no" an answer?" /> Isn't "no" an answer?" />


Among her earliest memories was a prayer to God to change the color of her eyes from brown to blue. In later years she wrote "...but what I can never tell you properly is the bewilderment that even now I can remember as if it were yesterday...(age 3) without a shadow of a doubt that my eyes would be blue in the morning. I had gone to sleep and the minute I woke I pushed a chair to the chest of drawers on which their was a looking-glass and climbed up full of eager expectation and saw--mere brown eyes. I don't remember how the words came, "Isn't no an answer? Perhaps my mother said something like that, whose blue eyes had made me so much want to change my brown ones..."

In any case, here is the marvel, that at the age of three she began to learn a lesson which she never forgot: the lesson that even silence is an answer, that our gracious Lord may sometimes say "wait" or even "no" rather than "yes," but that He is never heedless of our prayers. She got over the disappointment but even 41 years later one visitor to Dohnavur noticed the children wearing blue ribbons, and even many of Amy's books were bound in blue.

But it is there in India we see God's sovereign purpose even in this small detail. For there, blue eyes are foreign. One of her own "boys" remarked "I know why God gave Amma (Amy) brown eyes." For you see when Amy sought to rescue little girls from the prospect of Temple prostitution, she would stain her hands and arms with coffee, and thereby gained admittance to places foreign women with blue eyes could not. Of course she wore Indian dress but if her eyes had been blue, someone might easily have penetrated the disguise.

Here is a poem she wrote, which is best read out loud to catch the cadence:

Just a tiny little child
...Three years old.
And a mother with a heart,
...All of Gold.
Often did that mother say
     Jesus hears us when we pray,
            For He's never far away
                    ...And He always answers.

Now, that tiny little child
...Had brown eyes,
And she wanted blue instead
...Like blue skies.
For her mother's eyes were blue
       Like forget-me-nots. She knew
            All her mother said was true,
                 ...Jesus always answered.
So she prayed for two blue eyes,
...Said "Good night."
Went to sleep in deep content
...And delight.
Woke up early, climbed a chair
       By a mirror, Where oh where
             Could the blue eyes be? Not there;
                  ...Jesus hadn't answered.

Hadn't answered her at all;
...Never more
Could she pray; her eyes were brown
...As before.
Did a little soft wind blow?
      Came a whisper soft and low,
             "Jesus answered, He said 'no.'
                 ...Isn't "no" an answer?"



Amy Carmichael