Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


A Day of Recreation

In April, she wrote a longer letter than usual to her husband, quite revealing in many features: 3BIO 26.1

I had written you quite a lengthy letter last night, but the ink was spilled upon it, making an unsightly blotch, and I will not send it. 3BIO 26.2

We received your few words last night on a postal card—“Battle Creek, April 11. No letters from you for two days. James White.” 3BIO 26.3

This lengthy letter was written by yourself. Thank you, for we know you are living. No letter from James White previous to this since April 6, 1876. We were very thankful to receive a few lines in reference to yourself from Sister Hall, April 9. I have been anxiously waiting for something to answer.—Letter 5, 1876. 3BIO 26.4

Before closing, she promised, “I will write every morning,” and she asks, “Will you do the same?” 3BIO 26.5

Much of the letter is devoted to a description of the activities of the previous day. It seems that Charles Chittenden, a church member in San Francisco, owned a sizable sailboat, and he had invited a number to join him and his wife in an excursion on San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The entire day was spent on the beach and on the water. A steam launch took them out through Golden Gate and to the open Pacific. In the group of passengers were Mary Clough, Edson and Emma White, J. N. Loughborough and his wife, J. H. Waggoner, and a half-dozen others. Mary and Emma were at first seasick, but not Ellen White. She loved every minute of it, and wrote: 3BIO 26.6

The waves ran high, and we were tossed up and down so very grandly. I was highly elevated in my feelings, but had no words to say to anyone. 3BIO 26.7

It was grand—the spray dashing over us, the watchful captain giving his orders, the ready hands to obey. The wind was blowing strong, and I never enjoyed anything so much in my life.—Ibid. 3BIO 26.8

“I was today to write upon Christ walking on the sea and stilling the tempest,” she told her husband. “Oh, how this scene was impressed upon my mind.” She continued the account of the happenings. She overheard Chittenden say that Sister White looked happy, but he observed that she had nothing to say to anyone. She was filled with awe and buried in her thoughts as she observed the grandeur of the ocean with its high, running waves. The majesty of God and His works occupied her mind. She pondered: 3BIO 27.1

He holds the winds in His hands. He controls the waters. Finite beings, mere specks upon the broad, deep waters of the Pacific, were we in the sight of God, yet angels of heaven were sent from His excellent glory to guard that little sailboat that was careening over the waves. Oh, the wonderful works of God! So much above our comprehension! He, at one glance, beholds the highest heavens and the midst of the sea.—Ibid. 3BIO 27.2

In her mind she saw the disciples that night on stormy Galilee. She penned two or three pages in vivid description of the tempest, the struggles of the disciples at the oars, and the deliverance as Jesus appeared and stilled the troubled waters. She closed the account with the words “He is our Redeemer. We may trust Him in the storm as well as in the sunshine.” Then she added: 3BIO 27.3

Can you wonder that I was silent and happy with these grand themes of contemplation? I am glad I went upon the water. I can write better than before.—Ibid. 3BIO 27.4