The hospice chaplain just left my grandpa’s bedside and I can’t stop thinking about something he said in his prayer. He said “At the end of this life, Father, we only leave behind three things that matter: our faith, our family, and our friends.”
A dear friend of mine is also currently dealing with the loss of a loved one and when we were chatting on the phone last week, she also mentioned that she was struck by the truth that in this life we take nothing with us when we go. The only thing that we leave behind is our legacy.
That has gotten me thinking. What kind of legacy do I hope to leave behind? When I’m ready to go home to be with Jesus, who and what will I leave behind? Will it have mattered that I was here? Will I have made an impact? When I meet my Jesus face to face will He be able to say “well done”?
The chaplain’s three things and my friend’s observation combine to summarize the I hope to leave. I hope that the who and the what that I leave behind are wrapped in together beautifully in the legacy of faith that I leave with my family and my friends. I want people to say, “Man! She did her very best to be the hands and feet of a loving God to everyone that she came into contact with. She loved Jesus and she loved his people.”
My Grandpa did. He was a faithful man. He loved Jesus and he loved others. He was gentle and kind. He was so sweet. He always had a smile for everyone he met. I can’t recall him every saying a negative thing to anyone or about anyone. He was truly a good man who walked out Jesus’ love by the way that he loved people. The legacy that he leaves is the same legacy that I want to leave.
That sounds so simple, really. But, we all know that it isn’t. Loving people means opening up to them and letting them into your life and your heart. It means going out of your way to invest time and energy into building a meaningful relationship with them. It means daily living in a way that brings honor to God and points people in His direction. That takes real dedication. Heaven, help me because I have so much need for improvement in this!
I know with the Christmas season, we don’t want to dwell on things like this. But what if the gift we gave to Jesus this year was one of a lasting legacy of love to the people He loves? What a difference we could make if we decided to take steps daily to leave that kinds of a legacy of faith and love! What if we each focused our energy, time, and attention to leaving a legacy of faith for our family and friends? I don’t know about you, but that is something I’d love to live out just like my grandpa did.
Blessings and love,