To Ruby and Esther Gustafson,
Roberta and Judith Ann Locher,
with the desire that through this story
they may become better acquainted with
their lovely Aunt Adelaide and with her
altogether lovely Lord and Saviour,
EVEN THOUGH ADELAIDE LOCHER never actually joined the international mission family of which I am the privileged “father,” I am very happy to write a brief foreword to Mrs. Canfield’s story. Miss Locher certainly offered herself to God for China; and He said, “Thou didst well that it was in thine heart,” but He closed the door.
Then is it worthwhile to write of one who was thwarted, never even reaching the mission field? We love to read stories of high achievement—what did Adelaide Locher achieve?
Reading this book you will discover, I think, that like Enoch (Hebrews 11:5, 6) she had this testimony, that she pleased God. There is no higher aim than that. And “without faith it is impossible to please him.”
This is a story of courage that would not be daunted, of joy that nothing could quench, of one who trusted God without asking for explanations.
An English writer, C. A. Fox, who knew the discipline of suffering, writes:
Two glad services are ours;
Both the Master loves to bless.
First we serve with all our powers,
Then with all our feebleness.
Nothing else the soul uplifts,
Save to serve Him night and day—
Serve Him when He gives His gifts,
Serve Him when He takes away.
As I finished reading the story of Adelaide Locher, greatly moved by the radiance with which she faced long periods of suffering, I prayed that its fragrance may remind all who read it of the loveliness of Him who produced that fragrance in her. He alone is worthy.
General Director, China Inland Mission
In a sense this book is about fifty thousand miles long, for the work on it had to be interspersed with traveling in the United States and Canada as well as through the Panama Canal, the South Pacific, and then far into interior China and out again.
As she first stepped into our home, Adelaide Locher’s fine character spoke through her keen brown eyes as well as through her well-chosen words. “Certainly,” we thought, “here is an orchid of the Lords special culturing.” That was when she began teaching in Southern California. Since then, in Candidate Secretarial work for the China Inland Mission we have met hundreds of Americas choice Christian students, but have found none finer than this young woman.
The fact that her path and ours converged at many points helped a great deal in the writing. No long journeys were necessary to catch the scent of the story setting. The fragrance of pines in the Sierra Nevada, the Southern California orange groves, and the fog of the San Francisco Bay area—all these are familiar to my nostrils. In fact, my native California scenes and faces seemed nearer, at times, than the traffic grinding under my window in Philadelphia, where most of the actual writing was done.
Many of the incidents, conversations, and letters included in this book were directed to us personally during the years of our intimate friendship. My husband and I feel they are far too valuable to keep to ourselves. In the spring of 1946, Adelaide, at my request, prepared a testimony, something of her experiences with God, dictating it to her sister-in-law, Roberta Locher. Her manuscript has formed the essential part of this book, together with selections from her letters which many persons have been so kind as to send me. I have been immeasurably blessed as I studied these materials. Everything they contained was praiseworthy. Yet, in order to keep the thread of the story, only enough by-the-way incidents are included to reveal something of her everyday life, interests, and attitudes. Intentionally I have not used small fabrications as a garnish. Fiction might have added piquancy; but, to my mind, it would have taken from the flavor of the message as a whole.
The title, See the Glory, has been chosen from the Bible, Adelaides special text: “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). May the glory of God be as unmistakably apparent to all who read as it has been to me in writing of the swift storm and God’s shelter, in the life of Adelaide Locher!
Gratefully I acknowledge the helpful encouragement of my husband and of Adelaide Lochers family and friends in making possible the presentation of this biographical sketch. Special mention should be made of two friends, Idella Seiben Newman and Morena Hughes Downing, who have mothered their growing children as well as this manuscript while my husband and I were traveling in the Orient. Sincere thanks also go to those who have given permission to print portions of prose and poetry from their material:
Van Kampen Press
Christian Publications Inc.
Hope Publishing Company
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge