Marian Fisher, age 13
Mary Liz Miller, age 8
Lena Miller, age 7
Anna Mae Stoltzfus, age 12
Eternal Father in heaven,
I call to you from my innermost being.
Do not let me turn away from you,
but keep me in your truth until the end.
Oh God, keep my heart and my mouth.
Watch over me every hour.
Do not let me turn away from you
because of anxiety, fear or distress.
Keep me steadfast in your joy. . . .
I lie here in chains, waiting on you God,
with a very great longing
for the time when you will set me free.
-- Ursula Hellrigl, written in the castle of the Vellenberg, near Innsbruck, Austria
From the Ausbund (36), an old Anabaptist book of hymns, prayers, poems and writings (many of which were written during times of imprisionment and suffering) that the Amish still use today.
Love will never come to nothing.
Everything has an end but love.
Love alone shall stand...
Love clothes us for the wedding feast
because God is love and love is God.
He helps us out of all distress,
and who shall take us far from him?
Knowledge swells but love builds up.
Everything done without love comes to ruin.
Oh love! Oh love!
Lead us with your hand and bind us together.
False love is that which deceives us. Amen.
-- Ludwig Haetzer, based on I Corinthians 13, from the Ausbund (57:6-7)
(Image: by bonsaikiptb atflickr.com. Some rights reserved.)