Readings for Prudence Crandall Teacher and Prophetic Witness, 1890: September 3rd
“He [Jesus] said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2)
Truly this verse from Luke has meaning for Prudence Crandall whom we remember today, September 3rd. Crandall answered a call to a labor of love in her unappreciated efforts to educate young girls of all walks of life.
“In 1831, Crandall started a girl’s school in Canterbury, Connecticut, where she educated the daughters of the town’s wealthy families. In 1833 she admitted to her school a young African American girl named Sarah Harris, who wanted an education so that she could in turn teach other African American children. The parents of the white children at Crandall’s school were outraged and demanded Harris’s expulsion, but Crandall refused and decided to open a new school for African American girls.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for August 3) Here the Psalmist for today also strikes and applicable chord where it is written, “The arrogant rise up against me, O God, and a band of violent men seeks my life; they have not set you before their eyes.” (Psalm 86:14)
I feel it is very important to remember these hidden heroes who do God’s work in difficult situations. I especially think teachers are important as they shape the young minds of those who will move into leadership positions in our future. And while Crandall was treated hatefully, she was steadfast in her resolve to do good at whatever level she could despite resentment and threats from the community.
However, “In 1886 a petition endorsed by Mark Twain and signed by more than a hundred citizens of that state, expressing their regret and shame over her treatment, persuaded the Connecticut state legislature to award her a pension. Prudence Crandall died in 1890, and today she is recognized as the official State Heroine of Connecticut.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for August 3) So here again the words of the Psalmist for today apply, “Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed; because you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.” (Psalm 86:17)
The lesson here is simple. When God calls us to do holy work we are not to worry about the negativity of the people around us. God has often placed new work in the midst of problem areas because that is exactly where it is needed. And more than that, you may be exactly the person God wants to use to make the difference. Thank You Jesus.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people. John+