Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Elisabeth Elliot Autographed my Heart

I want to write like Elisabeth Elliot. How did she write? She wrote deep. She wrote joy. She wrote pain. She wrote Christ.

I want to write so well and so true that my words impact lives for Christ. For Elisabeth Elliot's words brought me closer to my Savior. Isn't that every Christian author's goal? Or shouldn't it be?

I remember meeting her long before I had any thought that one day I would speak at conferences and autograph my own books She spoke truth with eloquence and intelligence and experience.  

When we met at her book table, I stared into the eyes of this dear one who had suffered loss and counted it all gain.

 She seemed  a bit annoyed when I asked her to sign her book to my mother, Mary. Now, as I better understand Elisabeth and the Jesus she daily died for, I  may understand why the autograph request did not bring her joy.

Elisabeth thought nothing of herself and everything of Christ. Could it be she was not pleased that I asked for her signature because the only imprint she wanted her audience to take away was what God wrote in their hearts.  Perhaps, in her mind, my asking for her autograph was a sign of failure because she had not achieved the goal:

Any who heard her voice or read her words would not want a part of her, but all of Christ!

Although our physical paths crossed only once, I've met her again and again in her writing and I've come to treasure her as one of my mentors of the faith. I love her because she helped me love and know God with all of my heart.

I saw the true, compassionate, loving Elisabeth Elliot in her book, Let Me Be A Woman, written to her daughter before she married.

 "You marry a sinner. Why would you do that? There is no one else to marry." ~ Elisabeth Elliot in Let Me Be A Woman. This quote was an inspiration for my book We All Married Idiots. For Elisabeth first planted this thought in my mind that every spouse is a sinner, so if you divorce and remarry, you replace one sinner for another. These words encouraged me many a day in my own marriage as the reality of sin is revealed day after day in our idiotic selves.

A Chance to Die — The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael is another book that Elisabeth autographed in my heart  and God used to change this self-seeking child to a self-sacrificing, God seeking servant Amy Carmichael's writings impacted Elisabeth Elliot as Elisabeth's writings impacted me.

Thank you Elisabeth for being my friend via the written word, and showing me the truth you wrote in A Chance to Die:

"I saw that the chance to die,
to be crucified with Christ, 
was not a morbid thing, 
but the very gateway to Life . . . ."

Interesting, in the Preface of A Chance to Die,  Elisabeth wrote the following in 1987:

"If we are unaware,
 perhaps we have not listened,
taken time to observe.
Have we been deafened by noise,
some of the worst of which passes for music?
Has our vision,
 spiritual as well as physical,
perhaps been impaired
by the glittering images of the ubiquitous screen?

In spite of much that militates against quietness
there are people who still read books.
They are the people who keep me going.
I write especially for those
 who bring to their reading 
a mind not hidebound
 by the sensibilities of our own time,
but prepared to contemplate
 the Eternally Relevant;
to seek in this book specifically the truth
and the hidden meaning of a single life."

Oh, that we would all write like my mentor and friend, Elisabeth Elliot. 

Splashes of serenity sprinkled all over with Jesus!


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