Thursday, July 2, 2015

A complicated eulogy


Elisabeth Elliot died.

Photo from elisabethelliot.org
It’s a very odd thing to read about the death of someone you so respected and who influenced your life, but to also honestly face some of the doubts and, well, personal opinions that quite differed from hers. Writer Addie Zierman brought those repressed questions to the surface. She eloquently voiced what I would want to say if only I’d thought of it. (Read it here.) Elisabeth was one of my heroes, too. Many of the things she wrote and said steered me through difficult times. When I was overwhelmed with life she said: Don’t try to take the entire journey at once. Trust all your life and its details to God. He cares about you. All you need to do is the next thing. Whatever it is. Just do the next thing.

I wanted to be like her. For awhile. Until I grew farther into womanhood and marriage and mothering, then I found her voice more difficult to bear on some issues.

Zierman ends her eulogy with graciousness. If anyone ever wrote mine, I hope they would extend me grace in the end as she does with Elisabeth. Zierman points us to a place where I have wanted others to go – a place of hope, a place we long for: Home, a place where I (and you) are called “Beloved.” 

3 comments:

liz@carpeseason said...

I'm so glad you pointed me to Addie's post. I went to college with her and knew her as an aquaintance at best, but I've recently discovered her blog and writing, and this euology was just spot on.

Sandra Oster said...

Thanks for this and the link. It was largely EE speaking in Kansas City in 1983 that inspired me to go to Uganda. The eulogy is so gracious, so glad to have read it.

Abbie said...

What a meaningful perspective, Margie. Thank you for sharing. I suppose there's something of maturity to realizing all heroes, even, are flawed.

I just finished God in the Sink last night. What a thoughtful collection of content and stories and wisdom through seasons. My husband and I recently became the caretakers for a retreat center in Savannah, GA (@wesleygardenslife), and I'm also the mother of a one and two year old, so many of the words were pertinent, grace-filled and life-giving. Thank you...

A peaceful Wednesday to you,
Abbie (an acquaintance of Byron, who originally pointed me to your work)