“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Francis Schaeffer’s wife Edith passes away on Easter weekend 2013 Part 19 (includes pro-life editorial cartoon)

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story Pt.1 – Today’s Christian Videos

The Francis and Edith Schaeffer Story – Part 3 of 3

Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary)

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

 

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Picture of Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith from the 1930′s above. I was sad to read about Edith passing away on Easter weekend in 2013. I wanted to pass along this fine article below although I don’t agree with all of it.


Apr 1 2013
She helped us see art and beauty’s place in Christian life.

Edith Seville Schaeffer, co-founder of L’Abri and author of more than a dozen books, died Saturday at age 98.

In her autobiography, The Tapestry, Edith emerges as a woman overflowing with beauty, energy, creativity, and love, a woman whose every encounter seems to have been “charg’d with the grandeur of God.” In a time when evangelicals were suspicious of all things worldly, Edith reveled in music and dance, in her neat little figure and in beautiful clothes: “I was 5-foot-2 and weighed 102 pounds and wore clothes that looked like they had come out of the best shops” she tells us, breathlessly, as an example of why she didn’t measure up to the standards of Christian womanhood at that time, which, apparently, included dowdiness as well as a rejection of culture. She was intelligent and full of conviction. She had a lot to say.

Despite not measuring up in some ways, Edith epitomized, and perhaps helped to establish, standards of Christian womanhood: resourcefulness, self-denial, femininity. She worked tirelessly as a seamstress in their Philadelphia apartment while her husband Francis Schaeffer studied in seminary, thoughtfully packing identical lunches for them as a way of being “together when apart,” so that they could taste the same flavors and feel the same “degree of hunger” by dinnertime. As a young pastor’s wife and mother, she single-handedly catered weddings, complete with hand-filled cream puffs. She sewed beautiful clothes for her children, read to them from the classics, and took them to art museums, all, of course, while keeping her figure and continuing to wear good clothes, pearls, makeup, Chanel No. 5., and, after the children were tucked into bed, a black negligee.

When I was growing up, my dad had the hardback, rainbow colored Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer on his bookshelves; Edith’s books—What is a Family?, Common Sense Christian Living, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, and of course, L’Abri, were scattered throughout the house. Elementary days homeschooling often began with an object lesson from Everybody Can Know; before I was out of high school I’d read every Edith Schaeffer book in the house, studying what it meant to be a good Christian woman. As a college student living in decidedly ugly dormitories, I read and re-read a library copy of Hidden Art trying to bring an aesthetic sensibility to my everyday life: writing out my notes neatly and beautifully, artistically arranging the loathsome cafeteria food on the unaesthetic plates and trays, and, occasionally, bringing in fresh flowers. Seeing the copy of Hidden Art tucked into my bag, a friend who also felt the aesthetic deprivations of college life remarked, “Yes. That book is nourishment.”

Comments

Displaying 1–10 of 12 comments

Joan Oliver

April 02, 2013

Though I was never at L’Abri, my husband and I read all the F. Schaeffer books we could and I read a couple of Edith’s. I always thought of her as the perfect wife–calming, partnering–to Francis and a great creative woman of God on her own. Thanks for this article, Rachel. Though there is sadness in the “revelations” about the family, there has always been the awareness the God is sovereign.

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Rob Shearer

April 02, 2013

Frank Schaeffer’s provocative charges about his father remain unsubstantiated. Frank has, throughout his life, been much given to hyperbole, and has adopted a decidedly negative view of evangelical culture and theology. I’m sure he is convinced of the truth of what he has written. Others who knew the Schaeffers intimately do not share his views or judgments. The daughters & sons-in-law of Francis & Edith have refused to engage in a public debate with their brother (-in-law). I would encourage charity and respect for both Edith and Francis, and a bit of skepticism about Frank’s charges.

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Daniel Becker

April 02, 2013

Arriving at L’abri late one evening, my betrothed and I found there was “no room in the inn” (the men’s and women’s dorms). When Edith found out she immediately offered us a spot on her living room floor at their home Chalet Les Melez. She suggested we roll out our sleeping bags under her dining room table. The next morning we awoke to the sun shining through the picture window revealing an brilliant alpine panorama. Susan was asked by Edith to help make breakfast for the other guests. I remember how the simple meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was transformed by the cutting of this simple fare into a variety of differently shaped pinafores. Susan never forgot this small act of creativity. Our own home of 31 years enjoyed this same expression of hospitality—all because of a small petite woman who loved God and expressed her devotion through many simple acts of love, kindness and a generous spirit of hospitality.

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MILDRED B SALMON

April 01, 2013

“apparently included dowdiness…” Maybe, if you are in the here and now trying to look back. More likely a desire to obey Paul’s “dress modestly” with very modest means. Or sending children to school acceptably dressed and Mom’s dress based on what was left in the budget. Many of those perceived as “doudy” were also full of conviction. Edith’s viewpoints inspired them to use their own creativity and available resources to enhance their world of home and family, just as she inspired you –and me.

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Is the unborn baby the woman’s property or not? Take a look at this editorial cartoon.

(Francis did a great job in his film series “How Should we then live?” in looking at how humanism has affected art and culture in the Western World in the last 2000 years. My favorite episodes include his study of the Renaissance, the Revolutionary age, the age of Nonreason, and the age of Fragmentation.)

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