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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday, 15 October: The Inn of Sixth Happiness

I grew up with the stirring story of Gladys Alyward, the little Cockney domestic servant, who went to China in the '30s as a missionary, without the blessing of the China Inland Mission and with just a few pence in her pocket. Her life of faith in God and great human courage is worth reading or re-reading: The small woman by Alan Burgess. See if you can find a copy! I was inspired by the tales of how she forced muleteers to sleep the night in the Inn of the Eight Happinesses (the Eight Beatitudes) so she could tell them Gospel stories, unbound the feet of little girls, faced a prison riot, the Japanese invasion and led 'her' children to safety. Gladys had to leave China during the Chinese Revolution and settled in Taiwan where she died in 1970.

The wonderful movie entitled the Inn of the Sixth Happiness starring a magnificent Ingrid Bergman is also a golden oldie worth revisiting. You can watch a tantalising 10 minute synopsis of the movie on You I guarantee it will whet your appetite.

And to contemplate on this Wednesday are the Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5), the be-attitudes which Gladys exemplified so well:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteouness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


willow said...

Eleanor, you are not going to believe this, but I just picked this film up at the library and watched it last week! I was totally unfamiliar with Gladys Aylward and had to immediately google her after the movie. I love how she was so faithful to her call and did all she could to get to China. And funny how she had the title "Foot Inspector"! I must try to find a copy of "The Small Woman"!!

Eleanor said...

Willow! How amazing! You must read the book. A story of true heroism!

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

I have never heard of this movie Eleanor. I will have to hunt for it.

Smilingsal said...

Although I've heard of it, I can't remember if I've read it (so I suppose I haven't) or if I've seen the movie. I'll put it on my bucket list.

pammiejo said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I haven't read this book but your synopsis of it reminds me of Memoirs of a Geisha, which I really enjoyed. I'll add it to the stack of books to read (too many books, too little time)! PAM

Shelia said...

Oh, thanks for popping in to see me and I'm so glad you appreciate good taste.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

MARIA said...

I was touched reading your beautiful post, Eleanor!
I found movies on YouTube and be watching. I didn't find this book in Polish, but hope I'll do.
I put this video/s here on my small site:

Thank you for sharing!
God bless you!

Your Link to YouTube is not correct. IF you want, take link from my site /cudownezycie/

Carrie said...

This is the first I'm hearing about the heroine and about the movie. Seems like something I should check on soon.

Linda's Blue Gate said...

Thank you so much for coming to my blog..... I have been sitting here for the longest time just gazing over your very fascinating blog and ... well your beautiful surroundings......
I just adore that old movie....I remember the sweet little children singing in the woods..... but have never read the book..... I am going on hunt for the book
I must say I enjoyed my visit so very much...

KarenHarveyCox said...

Hello Eleanor,
As always your posts are always filled with wonderful words and inspiration. I must look for this movie, it looks very interesting. The Beatitudes, always a good reflection. Karen

Ms.Daisy said...

Beautiful post! I have seen the movie and loved I will be looking for the book. It is a wonderful story and it will be interesting to read the "back story."
I will have a picture or two to share when I get home!


jeanne said...

Eleanor, thanks for your visit and your sweet comments about my recent posts. I enjoyed reading your post today and the history of Gladys Aylward. What a gal. Someone to admire for sure. I loved the Ingrid Bergman movie. she was a great actress.


Betty said...

I will certainly seek to find the book and movie....

Such a brave person.....Betty

Jeannelle said...

Lovely and informative post. I have this movie on DVD.