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===The Heart Cry in the Wilderness of Hopelessness===
First off, I must say I am no theologian, in fact I am far from it. I am simply an embattled warrior of life who's depleated soul has been comforted and soothed by the balming words of this great man, who even in his death has reached the very core of this individual's heart cry in this wilderness we call life.
I am saddened that a search brings up so little of the history of Austin Farrer the man, especially here in Wikipedia. Of course we can find that he was a Theologian, who in the estimation of Oxford's collective representation was one of the greatest Theologians Oxford has ever produced. We can find that he was great friends with CS Lewis. We can find that his wife Katherine was also an author of novels. We can learn that his intellect and theology is deemed greater even than that of the famed CS Lewis - not at all meant to discount Lewis' important works - but for Austin's ability to reach into the very core of man's secrets, doubts, fears and raw need and to meet all sufferers through his written word and his understanding of God to begin the process of rebuilding the fragments of the very soul.
It is a common teaching we learn in Bible Studies that when one would approach Jesus with a question, He would speak rather to the heart's true motive in asking the question rather than the question itself. This talent would reveal the condition of the soul to the asker himself and to all in earshot, which in turn caused quite the stir (and often offense) among the people. For those who were called, His revelation to them caused them to drop everything and follow Him.
It is my belief that the Lord graciously bestowed a modicum of this gift of His within Austin Farrer, at least to the point that he can speak to the heart of man in wonderfully colorful and frank means in order to reveal the True God.
From all accounts, Austin Farrer was a modest man. A man whose close friend committed suicide. A man who understands through his experiences the desolate feelings of lost hope and the eviseration of lifes greatest pains. It is from these experiences that he sought to regain hope and through these he strengthened his faith, and the hope and faith of all who read his works.
It is with this that I add my two cents, for those who are downtrodden, for those who wonder what God may be doing in certain circumstances, for those who have lost hope, faith, strength or all three and for those who are walking wounded; reading even snippets of Austin Farrer will do magnificent things for your soul and will feed you in a such a way that you thought would never be possible again.
I will leave the readers of this discussion with his words.
In A Celebration of Faith, he wrote (seperate quotes);
"Bad things don't reveal a cruel God; they hide us from the God of love."
"I should say...wisdom consisted of two things: knowing how to live, in the most profound and human sense - how to make your life what your life was made for: that was one part of the wisdom. And the other was inseparable from it: to know those truths about yourself, and about the realities surrounding you, which you must know if you are to respond appropriately to the demands of your situation, and so live truly well."
In Love Almighty and Ills Unlimited he wrote (seperate quotes);
"Pain, grief and every sort of discontent is but a drag on action and drain the colour out of enterprise. Merely to resist the deafening influence, and go on with life at all, may be an effort almost too great."
"The pressure of immediate sufferings may unhinge, indeed, the balance of judgement. Our derangement may be wholly pardonable, but it must not be allowed to pass for sanity."
"The sufferer finds his action, in the ordinary sense, cramped or enfeebled. The mere supporting of his trouble uses up such energy as he has."
"The evils of our life have an alarming tendency to spread, and breed other evils. Every extension of the trouble is a possible occassion of good, through the challenge, it throws down to character, or the appeal it makes to kindness. But how far the evil may have run and multiplied before the appeal is heard, or the challenge taken up!"
Seek out his works. Enjoy them. They will speak to your soul, I promise.
For those who know more of his history, please join this discussion. It is my opinion that such a great man deserves more notority than one small paragraph on this site.