Glittering Images Snippet

Exchange between Ashworth and Darrow:

I said as the tears began to fall: “I feel so overwhelmed by the memory of all my unfitness.”

“Very well, perhaps so far you haven’t served God as well as you might have done.  Perhaps you’ve even longed to put matters right–“

“I have yes–oh, indeed I have, I’ve prayed and prayed for help but–“

“Then your prayers are being answered, aren’t they?”

I stared at him.  “Answered?”  I looked around the room.  I was barely able to speak  “I’ve broken down so utterly that I am unable to conntinue as a clergyman, and you say this is God answering my prayers?”

“Of course.  Do you think God’s been unaware of your difficulties and the suffering you must inevitably have endured?  And do you think He’s incapable of reaching out at last to bring you face to face with your troubles so that you can surmount them and go on to serve Him far better than you ever served Him in the past?”

I understood but was unable to tell him so, and as I covered my face with my hands I heard him say:  “God hasn’t sent this ordeal to destroy you Charles.  He’s come to your rescue at last, and here in his village, here in this house, here in this room where you’ve hit rock-bottom, here’s where your new life finally begins.”

–  Susan Howatch, Glittering Images, 204-05

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