what we leave behind

Monday, April 30, 2012

On Saturday, I said goodbye to a man of God. Nearly every Wednesday night during high school, I sat in the upstairs youth room, the one with florescent lights, a vending machine, and what seemed like an endless number of folding chairs, listening to him and his wife lead us towards the gospel. We filled out Talksheets, we played games and drank Mountain Dew, and to be honest, I’m not sure that I remember a single particular lesson that clearly. What I do remember is how they loved God, how they loved us and how they loved each other.

Walking into a sanctuary that I haven’t stepped foot in in nearly fifteen years, a sanctuary that is literally unchanged from the pews to the banners to the wreaths on the wall, I was struck with what he really left behind. Face after face recognized from youth group days of old, now grown men and women, still loving God. Serving him daily. Structuring their own marriages and families towards Jesus. It’s not just us that he impacted; we’re passing that on to our own kids, a second generation reaping the rewards of the faithfulness of one man.

The sermon was filled with accounts of the things he did and how much he loved to serve Jesus. Nothing about it was bad, but I couldn’t help but long for a little more about the people he touched because I could look around that sanctuary and see them - the lives that he impacted eternally, including mine. This man, who became more than just the youth leader when he became the father-in-law of one of my oldest and dearest friends, changed lives. By his faithfulness, his wisdom, his love for others, and above all else, his love for Christ.

That’s the legacy I want to leave behind.

Only one life, twill soon be past;
only what’s done for Christ will last.
CT Studd


957. a mug full of steaming coffee
958. a glass full of ice-cold tea
960. a tall drink of water
961. intervention
962. the support of women
963. the power of encouragement
964. other people's recognition of the changes in our children
965. a good rehab program
966. the hope of a changed life
967. a friend who shares this unique life with me, real understanding
968. further confirmation of what's true
969. the eternal relief of suffering
970. the legacy of a man who loved and lived for God
971. a much-needed change in scheduling
972. trusting my community to help care for my children
973. a congregation full of the faithfulness of God
974. the promise of an evening with the one I love
975. babies, babies, babies
976. reminders of how very special my children are to others
977. peace in the midst of a lot of uncertainty

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