Take the very hardest thing in your life–the place of difficulty, outward or inward, and expect God to triumph gloriously in that very spot. Just there He can bring your soul to blossom.” -Lilias Trotter, Parables of the Cross
I was first introduced to Lilias Trotter in Faithful Women, Extraordinary God by Noel Piper. I had actually heard of her before through a random magazine article, as well as through Elisabeth Elliot’s program, Gateway to Joy. But I hadn’t put it all together yet.
I became very interested in this woman who had such artistic talent that the famed John Ruskin, Victorian artist and critic, said that with cultivation she would become one of England’s “greatest living artists.”
Instead, Lilias spent her life living with the Arab people of North Africa, living in the Arab section, which was unheard of at that time. She worked among the Arab people bringing with her God’s love and wrote a significant amount of English devotional literature, the most famous being Parables of the Cross. After reading more about her in the biography, A Passion for the Impossible, I wished so much to see her watercolors. For though Lilias did not embark on an art career, she never stopped painting, and her illustrations often accompanied her devotional writing. However, much of her work was out of print.
So imagine my delight to discover this beautifully hardbound book, A Blossom in the Desert, which is filled with her delicate watercolors along with excerpts from her books. I keep it at my bedside to read a portion before going to sleep each night. If you are a Lilias Trotter, or an art fan, I can’t recommend it enough.