Sunday, May 11, 2008

Elizabeth Wall - Strength in Weakness

April 6, 1989, marks the day that Lori Elizabeth Wall drew her first breath. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that causes pulmonary and digestive problems by affecting the mucous in the lungs and obstructing the function of the pancreas. Elizabeth had CF. Four years ago it became imperative that she receive a lung transplant. She never got new lungs and her time on earth ended April 22, 2004.

Elizabeth's dad, Charles Wall, is the Pastor of Grace Alliance Fellowship here in Statesville. The Wall family homeschools, which is where I've come to know them. Each year some of the homeschoolers among our group join together in a joint graduation ceremony for graduates. This year, the graduates asked the Walls if they would like to participate in graduation with a memorial to Elizabeth.

I was asked by the family to put together a video for the occasion which I finished only this weekend. I haven't uploaded it yet to YouTube, but when I do, I'll post it.

Elizabeth had a difficult time throughout her life with her condition. Nevertheless, she was no less active than any healthy kid. She loved to jump on the trampoline, climb trees, hula hoop, jump on the pogo stick, ice skate, ski, swim, ride horses, fish, go on hay rides, and so much more. She sounds like an active kid. She was so much more.

She was often found caring for babies. She loved to share the gospel with other children. She was active in Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), where she would share her faith. Where many who call themselves Christian shy away from speaking of Christ, even to other Christians, this little girl boldly endeavored to fulfill the Great Commission.

She also loved to sing. The whole family is musical and has always sang together. I've sung in choirs most of my life. Most of these choirs have been for churches. Some churches are more responsive than others, but normally when the choir looks out at a congregation, there can be found many who refuse to even wiggle their lips in praise to God. One wonders what they're doing there. The typical excuse I've heard is that a person can't sing. I think there's a common confusion between "making a joyful noise" and "talent". Some of the dearest moments I've had in worshiping through special music is when an amateur with a shaky, almost-in-tune voice drops the pretense of feigned spiritualism and offers praise to God with every ounce of childlike humility they have. Elizabeth was practiced, but not professional. As I screened the footage her family provided to me to include in the video I saw Elizabeth, hardly a month before her death, singing praises to God with her failing lungs. What a testimony to the rest of us when we complain about anything we think prevents us from glorifying God.

The video is soon to come...

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