With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Beloved Invader

Under the peaceful setting of towering oaks at the north end of St. Simon's Island, GA sits a 1700's church , Christ Church.

Over twenty years ago I read the historical fiction novel by Eugenia Price which depicts the character Anson Greene Phelps Dodge who fell in love with St. Simon's Island in the late 1800's. He was on a quest from New York to find his own father who had abandoned him when he was a child. Anson's only desire was to see him face to face and in doing so to get a few answers. None of that ended as he imagined. In the meantime, he fell so hard for the island that he brought his mom and his fiance down from the north to join him where it turned out he would live for the rest of his days.
The church was in shambles when he first saw it. Yankee soldiers had used it in indescribably vile ways during the civil war. The few families who had returned to the island after those awful times, had lost all their belongings and hadn't the funds to repair the church for use. It became Anson's passionate desire to rebuild the church.

Eugenia Price aptly called him "The Beloved Invader" because he was a stranger who made his way into the hearts of the people. It happened the first day he arrived while taking a ride on a borrowed horse from one end of the island to the other. The arresting beauty of the land captured his heart at first sight.
Anson married twice, had one son, rebuilt Christ Church with his own money, became the rector of it, started a home for boys without parents and was buried behind the church he gave his all to pastor.

I've read many of Eugenia's novels which dig into the history of this still quaint sea island town on the southeast coast of Georgia. She paints a perfect picture of the vast beauty this barrier island holds.

It all became real life to me this week. I've dreamed for many years to visit and explore the very places I've read about for so long. My children and their children joined my husband and I for a short week at the beach to celebrate Thanksgiving together.

We fit a lot of activity into five days. I have so many favorite moments but my heart was sealed when my precious family collaborated (read:agreed) to meet a photographer on the lawn of the Christ Church to have professional photos taken of us while we were all together.
This week has been one of the most memorable and cherished experiences of my life. It has been all I ever imagined and more. Thank you to my remarkably wonderful children (and grandchildren) for rearranging your lives and traveling here to be together.
Every single moment is etched in my heart and memory forever.


marmee said...

this is a beautiful place and now it is holding your wonderful memories. i am so your pleased your week was delighful.
thank you for sharing it so we can all see the beauty of st. simons.
i need to try to read this book about anson dodge, is sounds quaint.

Arissa Mae said...

I am so happy to read your post and know that your heart was pleased.

pilgrim said...

i suppose that we will have to wait til Christmas to see that family photo ;-) you have made several memorable trips this year, and this one was just the icing on the cake! i am sure the other family members must have enjoyed it as much as their meems, since you put so much forethought into the planning and the arrangements. and those delicious meals you pre-prepared. i'm happy you were so blessed to be together with your family for Thanksgiving. and what a birthday gift too! great way to celebrate both occasions!

Meems said...

Marmee, It is most beautiful with so many different resources for enjoying its beauty. The series is a trilogy... very romantical and historical all in one.

AM: My heart was full and overflowing with joy. Thank you for making it happen for your family.

Pilgrim aka mom: The photos are numerous. I will send you a slide show of the ones I took while the photographer was snapping away with his professional equipment. They are much more candid. It was a most wonderful birthday and Thanksgiving. I couldn't have ask for anything more.

marmee said...

i want you to send me the candid shots too, alright?