Do the next thing. . . — Elisabeth Elliot
In my generation (growing up in the 60s and 70s, raising young children in the 80s) Elisabeth Elliot was our “spiritual mom.” She spoke on marriage and widowhood; singleness and suffering; being a biblical woman. I listened to Gateway to Joy everyday. I read “Shadow of the Almighty” and “Through Gates of Splendor” and knew that I would be a missionary (I was a Missions Major in Bible College where I met my husband). “Let me be a Woman” was required reading at Bible School. Though I never met her personally, and though I am rejoicing that she is truly with her Savior now and no longer shackled by illness and dementia, I am saddened by the loss of another mentor; sad that I will never again hear her no-nonsense, unpretentious call to godly living.
However, in Elisabeth’s passing, I am also intensely aware that my generation is being viewed by my daughters’ generation, as my generation looked to Elisabeth Elliot, and women like her. What will my daughters (collectively, not just my blood daughters, who are 30, 32, 33) say of me? Is my life, my words, worthy of emulation? The apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthian believers to “be imitators of me as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1) The invitation was to examine his walk; there was not a hint of “do as I say, not as I do” (yikes, that sentence has infuriated me!).
Lord, I want my life to be open to examination. Please show me my sin and my poor example, so I can dig it out by the roots and kill it. Give me a heart to invest in the lives of those sisters who are younger. Give me the humility to be as honest with my struggles as I am with my victories. Be my strength in my weakness. Be my rest in my weariness. I want any who follow me to be led straight to Your presence. Amen