sábado, 20 de junho de 2015

Dead people speaking words of life

This past Monday somebody at work asked, “Have you guys heard about Elisabeth Elliot?” The woman best known by being Jim Elliot’s wife, and the missionary who preached the gospel to the Indians who slayed him at age 28, is now in God’s presence, abiding in His dwelling place.

I knew very little of her; in fact, I knew this much. After quickly looking for more information, I found her website and the list of books she penned in the course of her life. I was ignorant about her work and its extension. My first encounter with it wasn’t pleasant. “The Quest for Love” is the display of numerous case studies put together with one goal in mind: to propose that God works to bring couples together according to His will and despite dating (more, ditching dating). Our sole responsibility is to pray and rely on Him. If I recall it clearly, the timing of my encounter with that book was terrible… I struggled through the first six chapters and returned it to the library. That was how Mrs. Elliot and me came apart. To be quite frank, I didn’t even associate the name with the person behind it; I simply drifted away from what seemed to be a well-tailored mix of Christian fairy tales and horror stories.

And then, some months later, I hear the news of her demise. (It is still astonishing to me how much the Lord works through death…) That list of books flickered the desire to know more about her, so I picked three of them to fulfill that goal: one about the most famous story of her life, one compiled by her, but written by her husband, and the last one (which is her own voice) about womanhood. “So the last shall be first”, hence I started with “Let me be a Woman” (1976), a series of letters to her beloved daughter who was about to get married.

Mushy-Elisabeth from “The Quest for Love” was obliterated from my memory. Only her blunt, strong, assertive voice remained, speaking to both hers and mine generation, tackling hard subjects and arguing for a radical stance on biblical principles that she presents as being matters of fact, out of discussion. Less than a week went by, enough time to avidly swallow her positions, wrestle with her shrewd mind, hear her daring plea to fully trust in God’s blueprint. Yet, not enough time to absorb all the richness of this little book. It demands the purchase of a personal copy. It requires rereading, underlining, and taking of notes.

The last paragraph of the book goes like this:
“If you can understand your womanhood, Valerie, in this light, you will know fullness of life. Hear the call of God to be a woman. Obey the call. Turn your energies to service. Whether your service is to be to a husband and through him and the family and home God gives you to serve the world, or whether you should remain, in the providence of God, single in order to serve the world without the solace of husband, home, and family, you will know fullness of life, fullness of liberty, and (I know whereof I speak) fullness of joy”(p. 185).
She was writing to Valerie, but it felt like she was talking to me (a girl in the opposite situation of her daughter). The invitational and caring tone of the whole piece made it taste like a long conversation over tea, or a day spent at her house, for she addresses all females in their various contexts (not only those who are about to enter the covenant of marriage). Nothing is left unsaid, and never did I saw these hard issues treated so straightforwardly, and yet so delicately. There is true discernment, practical counselling, and tangible beauty in all her lines.

What does it mean to be a woman? How can I pursue my true identify? Big questions with intricate answers that she summarized in a sentence: turn all my energies to service. Embrace my womanhood, my sexuality, my shape specially desired and conceived by God. Know that womanhood is rooted in the character and intention of my Maker. Turn all my energies to service.

And I shall taste a life full of joy, full of grace, full of bliss.

1 comentário:

Belinha disse...

Também quero ler esse livro :*