Steve Saint: A Good-Bye to Aunt Betty (Elisabeth Elliot)
Aunt Betty died early this morning.
Oh I forget, most people know her as Elisabeth Elliot (Leach) now Gren.
She will be remembered, and rightly so, as a wonderful and prolific writer, and as a wonderful speaker. A number of years ago I wanted to send Aunt Betty a manuscript of mine and we began talking about the book that she compiled and authored, ‘Through Gates of Splendor.’
I believe God has used that book to influence more people to consider missions and to give their lives to missionary service, than any other book written in the last century. Elisabeth’s comment was, “that really wasn’t much of a book, but I guess God uses what He wants to use.”
Besides being a wonderful writer and speaker. Elisabeth (I can hardly call her that because she was also a very dear “aunt”) was a wonderful mother to her one daughter Valerie, and involved, doting and challenging grandmother to Valerie and Walt’s eight children.
She was usually very formal with the public (I think she was shy), but I remember telling her something about a boarding school we both went to and she laughed so hard I thought she was going to injure herself. She loved a good debate and could be somewhat argumentative.
I think Elisabeth would be happy just being remembered as not much of a woman, that God used greatly. To the rest of us mortals she was an incredibly talented and gifted woman who trusted God in life’s greatest calamities, even the loss of her mind to dementia, and who allowed God to use her. He did use her.
Tens of thousands of people will mourn her loss. I will certainly be one of them. But isn’t it incredibly wonderful that our loss is certainly her gain. She can think and talk once again!
Let’s remember her daughter Val and son-in-law Walt and her eight grandchildren. Let’s also remember and pray for her husband Lars who cared for her and saw that she was cared for during her ten year battle with the disease which robbed her of her greatest gift.
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