I watched his daughter and her strength as she played her dad's favorite songs at the service. His son gave the message. I had known him as a kid growing up and so even though I knew he was now a Pastor of his own church it was still hard for me to picture. His message was very moving and the greatest portrait of a living legacy of his dad. He referenced sayings and scriptures that were important to his dad. His mannerisms and even his voice reminded me of his dad. But his humor and message was his own and an awesome tribute. I have read John 11 and heard messages on it before but he had my attention from beginning to end. It was about listening to God and faith. And at the end he teared up (I still get tears in my eyes) and he said that we should be wanting to join Pastor in heaven not want him to be back down here with us. Those words are hard to hear but meaningful all in one. I think all of us hold on a little too tightly to this world. I know I do.
One of my brothers came a long ways to be at the service also. As we were talking we realized that the biggest reason Pastor had meant so much to us was because we knew he cared about us. It was amazing how many people went to great lengths to come to the service because of what Pastor had meant to them. As a result his death leaves a big hole. But he also leaves a great legacy. Nichole Nordeman sings a song called Legacy. Here are a few words from the song that I think apply:
I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy
There was a "Little House on the Prairie" epidsode called "The Legacy". Charles thinks he needs to make these tables with his initials on them so he can be remembered. But in the process he starts neglecting his family. He ultimately realizes that his family & his children are his legacy.
As I reflect on all this I see how important our relationships are. We all think we need to do something "important" with our life and we all do have a purpose. But our legacy will be left by the lives we touch. Whether it be our family, our children or others that we have reached out to.
My Pastor touched people's lives to draw them to the Lord. So in honor of him my quote of the week will be "Stay Straight with the Lord" and my verse will be Romans 10:17--So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Because thats what he wanted people to know.