Why Do You Refer to Elizabeth Taylor in Your Book Safely Home?

Question from a reader:

I just finished reading Safely Home. Thank you, what a great book!

At the back of the book you invited comments about the book. Near the end when Li Quan meets Hudson Taylor, you threw in a comment by Hudson to Li Quan, “...no relation to Elizabeth.” I realize you are writing largely to an American audience, but the majesty, gravity and other-worldliness of the book did not deserve a mentioning of Liz. While we can be concerned about her soul, in the scheme of eternity, Liz's worldly antics are not worthy of mention. But that's just my opinion.

Answer from Randy Alcorn:

Thanks for your kind words about Safely Home.

The Liz Taylor reference ties to the earlier one in which, on earth, Ben Fielding has no clue who Hudson Taylor is, and Li Quan has no idea who Elizabeth Taylor is. The point is to show how the secular American knows trivial worldly personalities but not those who've invested in eternity. It shows that we've embraced the popular while losing sight of the important. The second reference, which you mention, is to show heaven's connection with events of earth (HT was aware of conversation on earth), and that humor or irony exists in heaven. No endorsement of Liz Taylor is implied.

Randy Alcorn

Reply from the reader:

I stand sheepishly corrected. I had completely forgotten about the earlier reference to Li Quan’s ignorance of Liz,and Ben’s ignorance of Hudson. It now makes complete sense. I promise to pay more attention to what really matters and not on such trivia.

For more information about this book, see Safely Home.

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries