Basilea Schlink (1904 – 2001) was born in Darmstadt, Germany. After World War II, Schlink felt the need to repent for Germany’s cruel deeds. She then became a Lutheran nun and along with Erika Madauss founded The Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in 1947. Schlink wrote over fifty-five books, but my favorite is Realities of Faith:
In 1949, a year after the currency reform, the first products of the publishing house and our works of art were ready to be placed on the market. The question arose, should we actually sell our products?…
Within me a concept took shape, clear and sharply defined – a mental picture painted by the Sermon on the Mount, that for those who seek first the kingdom of God “all these things shall be yours as well” (Matthew 6:33). A word began to sound clearly in my heart – “Father.” He will provide, He will prove Himself a Father to His children. But that meant that we, as His children, must provide the opportunity for Him to do so…
How could all this take place? It became more and more clear to me. We must let loose our security and protection; we must surrender ourselves to utter dependence upon our Heavenly Father. This would give Him the opportunity to care for us and show His miracles. It meant the surrender of all security and steady income. We would depend on Him for everything. By faith and prayer we would stand upon His word, “give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over.” (Luke 6:38)
…We set no fee on our services. Our literary works, our arts and crafts carried no price tag. This meant that now we would be totally dependent upon the Father in heaven…
We began from that point to walk in this pathway. It made our Sisterhood truly a fellowship of prayer. Every day we started out with nothing. From a human viewpoint we stood before mountains of worries which had to be prayed away. So we had endless opportunities to present God with the many promises of Scripture – bringing them like an “IOU,” asking Him to redeem them. (Realities of Faith by M. Basilea Schlink, Bethany House, excerpts from pages 33 – 35)
That’s right! Schlink and her sisters did not put prices on her books. Did this cause them any problems?
Schlink tells the story about how the sisterhood had spent all of their money on printing books and pamphlets for a booth at an outdoor fair. A young man walked up with a black suitcase and learned that their publications were free. He dumped every book and pamphlet into his suitcase and walked away. Schlink wrote: “Wouldn’t this way of doing things bankrupt us?”
Yet, God always provided for them.
Okay, how can a businessman, like me, possibly hope to survive in the cutthroat publishing industry?
(Continued in Part 6)