One of the activities that Leah loved being involved with was L.O.S.T. – Limavady Outreach and Service Team. After we had received Leah’s diagnosis on Friday 19th April ’13, the first people to overcome their shock and visit us to support us and pray with us, were three of the L.O.S.T. leaders who came on Sunday afternoon 21st April ’13.
This was my husband’s birthday and our wedding anniversary, but we weren’t celebrating – we were too shocked and overwhelmed by the news that had been delivered to us over the phone at 4.30pm on the Friday.
We deeply appreciated the courage and Christian love shown by these youth leaders, in coming to minister to my husband and I whom they barely knew – their visit made a difference.
A few weeks later all the leaders involved with L.O.S.T. bought Leah a gift of a 3G enabled iPad. She had to buy a bigger handbag to accommodate it because it went everywhere with her.
This iPad was invaluable for the many long hours that Leah subsequently spent, as both an inpatient and an outpatient. Leah’s cousin bought her a subscription to Love Film so that she could watch films on it. Her aunt and uncle bought her a Spotify subscription. Wherever Leah went, this iPad went too and only the grave finally parted Leah and her iPad.
I love to listen to the Bible teaching of John Piper at desiring god.org. I know that some people consider John Piper too wordy and deep. For me, John Piper’s Bible teaching reaches the parts that other preachers don’t reach.
Today I was listening to a sermon by John Piper entitled “Ambushing Satan With Song” and I heard the following.
“January 8, 1956, Jim Elliot and four other young missionaries approached the jungle edge where the Auca Indians lived. Their last recorded act according to Elizabeth Elliot was to sing a hymn together:
‘We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day thy grace to know,
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
We rest on thee, and in thy name we go.’
All five of them were killed that afternoon. But they, too, were protected by God—protected from a fate far worse than death. They were protected from cowardice and unbelief and fear. And I think it would be fair to say – protected with song.
We have two great weapons in worship: the Word of God and song. So let us give heed to the Word of God and let us sing with all our heart.”
I thought about how Leah chose to listen to her favourite Christian music every day, using her Spotify playlist on her IPad, while dying in ICU. When the nurses came in to work with Leah I would lower the volume so as not to bother them, but they often told me that there was no need, as they liked listening to such lovely songs.
While Leah was taking her last breaths in the Children’s Hospice, her music also played. The doctor attending to her said the music was beautiful.
Throughout Leah’s wake at our home, Leah’s Spotify play list played softly in the background. Several people commented on the peaceful atmosphere.
I think we should never underestimate the importance of music in influencing our mood.
John Piper’s words reminded me of how our daughter faced death without fear. I think that listening to songs that encouraged her faith helped her to remain strong and courageous.