Lilias Trotter: The Bigger Picture

January 17, 2017 in Visual Faith

In anticipation of our screening of  Many Beautiful Things this Friday night, we're happy to share this reflection on Lilias Trotters' life from Steve Scott.

Lilias Trotter (14 July 1853 – 28 August 1928) was a young woman who pioneered ministry and mission methods, at first among the poor and the vulnerable on the streets of Victorian London, and eventually among the Muslim women and children in Algeria. Her spiritual awakening occurred as she heard Hannah Whitall smith teaching in London buther deepening hunger for ministry flourished  under a variety of other circumstances.  She was deeply touched by the impoverished and vulnerable young women on the streets of London, and looked for relevant and often innovative ways of reaching out/and ministering to them. Her administrative work for Christian organizations of the day also seeded and shaped skills that would come to fruition in her own later years of ministry in North  Africa….

However, she was also a talented artist, and, under the guidance of mentor figure John Ruskin considered a career in this field. Ruskin was a leading art critic and social theorist of the day, so his mentorship and influence were invaluable. He was deeply disappointed by her eventual decision to abandon an art career and pursue ministry, first in London, and then in Algeria. This was hard choice for her to make. Other setbacks made it harder.  She went to Algeria  `Against Medical Advice’ using her own resources to seed the trip after being turned down by established missions organizations  on the grounds of her frail health. 

I had been initially attracted to Trotter’s life and work after reading the excellent biography by Miriam Huffman Rockness. Some of the classes I took as part of Fuller MAGL brought Trotter’s life and work into deeper focus for me. Dr. Robert Clinton’s Leadership Emergence Theory class gave me insights into how God can sovereignly prepare and shape someone like Trotter for service. I saw that the spiritual, social, and circumstantial factors surrounding Lilias, even the premature death of her father when she was 12, were all elements that played a role in molding her vision and priorities. Her pioneering ministry methods  and work in London, even her administrative work on behalf of evangelist D.L Moody, and then the YWCA, all helped her explore and unpack the gifts that she would need in eventually living into her vocation among the Muslims in Algeria. The MAGL Mentoring class taught by Dr. Wilmer Villacorta highlighted the vital role of teachers, peers, companions, and even those one taught (downward mentoring) in strengthening and shaping  an individual and her calling. Even though she  strongly disagreed with art critic john Ruskin over her life choices and priorities, one can still sense  his continued  guidance and influence in her life and work.  This suggests  that some mentoring relationships, while somewhat  disruptively  strained, survive and continue to be valuable to the recipient.

Some years ago, I was asked to make suggestions  to an organization compiling a bibliography on Art and faith. I mentioned the biography of Lilias Trotter by Miriam Huffman Rockness. However, some were concerned that an account of  Lilias’s choice of missions over art might send `the wrong message’ to struggling artists.  Wasn’t art a valid calling?

Lilias Trotter never gave up art. She merely stepped off a career path.   The guidance and mentoring of Ruskin  can be seen  in her sketchbooks, drawings and watercolors. Some of these artworks ended up illustrating  the books she wrote on the spiritual life during her times of convalescence and recovery from the rigors of  her work in Algeria.  Her choice to go into this work `against doctor’s orders’ providentially created the need for periods of such rest. As she rested, she wrote. She supplemented her writings with artwork. She also illustrated her prayer letters with landscapes, buildings and people so that supporters could get a glimpse `through her eyes’ of the reclusive, mystical Muslim community, the Sufi, she was pouring out her life among. She built relational bridges and listened to their heart’s quest for deeper truth. She wrote a careful exposition of Jesus’s identity statements in John’s gospel that was sensitive to the context and culture of these hearers, while remaining faithful to John has inspired words.  From her closely observed drawings and watercolors  to her deeply pursued  conversations  with those she was sent to , we can sense  a relational and exploratory approach to life and ministry that bears all the hallmarks of `the artist’s path.’

Bibliography

Rockness, Miriam Huffman. A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers , 2003."

Steve Scott is an artist, writer and director of CANA (Christian Artists Networking Association)

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Kevin
03/18/2019 8:42am
You have extraordinary aptitudes great craftsmanship by you. You additionally ha great allfinebooksites.com aptitudes thatr make your blog increasingly appealing. continue utilizing you abilities in builting such great online journals.
Tax
07/17/2019 4:50am
Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information. Tax Accountants
appliance technician ltd
10/12/2019 7:29am
This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this.. appliance technician ltd.
best reviews appliance repair
10/16/2019 4:03am
This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this.. best reviews appliance repair
chanv
10/20/2019 12:35am
This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not every day that I have the possibility to see something like this.. chanv
HEnry
11/28/2019 12:09am
There are only few women like Lilias Trotter who actively participated in the religious activities and pioneered ministry and mission methods. She was always ready to help someone whether it was poor or any Muslim women. You can visit new jersey online gambling for more earning. She always looked for the innovative methods to draw people towards the religion.
AJ Justin
12/19/2019 3:52am
Lilias Trotter is a talented artist, I wish we are able to see her artworks. I read the book A Passion for the Impossible: The Life of Lilias Trotter, and her life story is very inspiring.

Do you want shooting games for your kids that is not too violent? Then you should download this bubble shooter classic, the best shooting game for kids.
sssss
01/28/2020 6:28am
I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.
https://neuroreliefketamine.com/
Cassandra D. Everhart
02/04/2020 12:33am
Desire further me to do so sometimes. click here
read more
02/14/2020 8:15am
Thanks for the blog loaded with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for.
johnw
02/19/2020 2:26am
Thanks for the nice blog. It was very useful for me. I'm happy I found this blog. Thank you for sharing with us,I too always learn something new from your post.
read more
Jay
03/15/2020 9:13pm
Well written article...very interesting story of Lilias Trotter. Thank you for sharing!
landscaping
John Fan
03/29/2020 12:10pm
Frey
03/29/2020 8:40pm
Truly an inspiration. I'm glad I was able to find this article. Her choice in serving God is never a mistake, that's her principle. We at Housing construction appreciate this so much.
Sam
04/12/2020 10:04pm
Trotter was a "prodigious writer," filling a journal page nearly every day for forty years and illustrating the world around her with sketches and watercolors. From these efforts came several books of somewhat flowery and mystical prose, including Parables of the Cross and Parables of the Christ-life.


-Roof leak repair-
Dallas Tans
04/13/2020 7:07pm
I'm glad to see this get the recognition that it deserves mobile spray tan dallas
Elysium Health
04/17/2020 4:55am
Such an inspiring lady.
Healthy Body Healthy Mind
04/17/2020 5:00am
She devoted her life in ministry and missions. Healthy Body Healthy Mind
Anonymous
04/17/2020 6:45am
Lilias' life is truly an inspiration to all women. Hope we standout the way she did! You can also start by visiting my website:
https://www.concretecontractorsstlouis.com https://www.carpetcleanercolumbia.com
Chris
04/17/2020 6:52am
Our team in Naples SEO and Affiliate Marketing SEO is so proud of this beautiful woman for having a big heart.

Alice
04/17/2020 6:56am
Always wishing for good health for this beautiful soul! EZ Checkout
Danny
05/06/2020 4:01am
Wow! this is a great film , congrats! Crown Sterling
Grayson
05/06/2020 6:53am
Extraordinary Movie! You really deserve a movie. certified massage therapist
sir speedy little rock
05/06/2020 8:45am
Great article! I like the content of this post very inspiring, thanks for sharing.
AnnaS.
05/06/2020 8:48am
Thanks for sharing this inspiring post, great blog indeed. SAM Renewals
Raphael
05/07/2020 4:34pm
I've also read Trotter's biography written by Rockness, so it's great to see someone writing about her in an article like this. Thank you for sharing.
-Raphael, Owner of Newark NJ Painters
brethalyn
05/26/2020 1:14pm
Good read. thanks for sharing!
windscreen replacement near me
Poltax
05/29/2020 2:41pm
Implant
05/29/2020 2:43pm
Implant
05/29/2020 2:45pm
Some years ago, I was asked to make suggestions to an organization compiling a bibliography on Art and faith. I mentioned the biography of Lilias Trotter by Miriam Huffman Rockness. However, some were concerned that an account of Lilias’s choice of missions over art might send `the wrong message’ to struggling artists. Wasn’t art a valid calling?

chirurg stomatolog Toruń
chirurg Toruń
chirurg szczekowy Toruń
chirurg stomatolog Toruń
chirurg stomatolog Toruń
Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

|
135 N Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91182