CRY OF THE BLOOD
The tom-toms thumped on
all night, and the darkness shuddered around me like a living, feeling
thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw,
and it seemed like this:
That I stood on a
grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite
space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and
furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable
depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.
Then I saw forms of
people moving single-file along the grass. They were making for the
edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little
child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw
that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step...it trod air.
She was over, and the children over with her. Oh, the cry as they went
Then I saw more streams
of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all
made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks as they
suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms,
catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly and fell
without a sound.
Then I wondered, with a
wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I
could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could not call. Though I
strained and tried, only a whisper would come.
Then I saw that along
the edge there were sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were
far too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these
gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green
grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of
Then I saw, like the
picture of peace, a group of people under some trees, with their backs
turned toward the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when
a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them
and they thought it rather a vulgar noise. And if one of their number
started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the
others would pull that one down. “Why should you get so excited about
it? You must wait for a definite ‘call to go. You havent finished
your daisy chains. It would be really selfish,” They said, “to leave us
to finish the work alone.”
There was another
group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get some
sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes
there were no sentries for miles and miles at the edge.
Once a girl stood alone
in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relations
called, and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break
the “rules.” And, being tired and needing a change, she had to go and
rest awhile; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the
people fell, like a waterfall of souls.
Once a child caught at
a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; the child clung
convulsively, and it called but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots
of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two
little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass.
And the girl who longed
to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she
sprang up and wanted to go; at which her relatives reproved her,
reminding her that no one is necessary anywherethe gap would be well
taken care of, they knew. And they sang a hymn.
Then through the hymn
came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in
one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon ME, for
I knew what it wasthe cry of the blood.
“Then thundered a
Voice, the voice of the Lord; and He said, Whom shall I send, and who
will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And He said, Go and
tell this people...Jesus said, Go ye into all the world, and preach the
Gospel to every creature...and lo, I am with you always” (Isaiah 6:8;
Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:20).
--From Amy W.
“Things as they Are”
Amy Carmichael served as
missionary in India for