“And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks” (Heb. 11:4, ESV).
Today, I am profoundly impacted by the life of a sister I only met once. She went to heaven a few days ago. And though she died, she still speaks. I am speaking of a woman named Lani Langlais. I have been pouring over the amazing number of tributes on her Facebook timeline. She was not a “famous” person here on earth, but to discover the amount of people she touched in a stunning way… has given me pause. I am personally inspired to live my life more like Jesus, reading about hers.
Her faith was so real, so powerful, that through it she still has a “voice” on earth. It is speaking to my heart about the beauty of Jesus. I wanted to share with you what some of those who knew her testify of her life. I am doing so simply because I want you to be blessed the way I am, in reading their words. There were many, many more than what follows, but I chose a few that represented the whole picture well. I put bold emphasis on phrases that especially stuck out to me:
“This little lady became a legend for so many of us. She lived a life aware of the constant celebration of heaven. She brought healing with her everywhere she went. She was a witness to the goodness and grace of God. Tangible, joyful, holy grace. Not the cheap stuff. The best stuff. The top shelf stuff. A prayer warrior, a prophet, a mother to so many. Can’t believe it but it just makes me want to live like her in the short time I have here. Thank you Mama Lani, can’t wait to party with you soon, in the presence of Jesus. I hope to make you proud in the years I have left ❤️”
“Oh Lani, the world has lost one of the sweetest, most radiant servants of God I have ever known! I had met Lani about 2009 in a crowded conference and she stood out like a ray of sunshine!! To think of what word best describes her, she was the ultimate encourager for certain but the only word I found was AFFIRMER. That’s Lani. She wasn’t just an encourager, she absolutely peered right into your soul with that ray of sunshine and affirmed the truth about who someone was in Christ. Always smiling, always had her eyes firmly locked on Jesus. Always filled with unshakable faith in the miraculous. Thank you Lani for being that beautiful light to so many. I rejoice with your homecoming today and grateful you were a part of my life.”
“Received some devastating news this morning about the passing of one of the most incredible people I have had the honor of knowing. Lani Langlais embodied the joy of Jesus. She shined everywhere she went. She was a voice of hope, would come alongside leaders and give support and comfort, was an absolute leader in intercession, helped care for the poor in San Francisco, and the list could go on. But what makes Lani a hero in my book was all the things she did for people when no one was looking. How she cared for and carried people was something to behold. Lani was Jesus with skin on. I couldn’t think of a higher honor to give her. I hope my life will continue to follow in her example.”
“Friday night at the Homeless Church in the Tenderloin was where I first met beloved Lani. She embodied His glorious presence and overflowed with love and encouragement. That Jesus sparkle poured on everyone she touched. And the joy that flowed through her was absolutely contagious! So many nights she would give me a ride home after prayer meetings and send me off with the sweetest encouragement. And I cherished her texts with so many heartfelt emojis! ❤️ “
“I can honestly say that meeting and spending time with Lani was life changing. We will not know just how wide, deep and far her impact and reach went to so many people. Saying she was a bundle of joy is an understatement. She was the most loving, joyful person I have EVER met in my life. Her passion to tell others about the finished work of the cross and what Jesus accomplished for us was what she was incredibly gifted at, spreading the good news. To me, I always thought she was the real life fairy godmother from Cinderella, full of wisdom and magic. The way Lani interacted, listened and encouraged you was over the top. Her love for the Lord was infectious and contagious in the best way. She had a way of communicating The Gospel in the simplest of ways that was just beautiful. She was a leader, a friend, a mama to many, a pastor and a lady who had an immense joy for life. We love you Mama Lani!”
Though there were so many more, I’ll stop there for now. I wept with joy a little, thinking of her homecoming. Kinda makes me wish I had gotten an opportunity to know her better before she graduated to eternity. But life is a vapor, and we’ll be there before we know it. When it’s our turn, may our lives, too, testify of how inexpressibly good, and kind, and encouraging, and healing, and beautiful He is. Through our living faith, may we speak, too, even after we are gone!
Of those people that you have personally met or known, and have gone on to their eternal reward, is there one that stands out the most as impacting you with their example?