As I write this, I’ve just returned from a Celebration of Life service for Bob, a dear saint from our church. The service included touching remembrances from his three children and his only sibling, a brother. It’s obvious that Bob has left a wonderful legacy. It made me wonder about the legacy that we will leave with those whose lives we have touched.
Here are three key areas in which Bob’s life impacted others:
Family. Bob was married for 53 years. He and his wife had three children and fifteen grandchildren. It was heart-warming to hear of the ways that Bob showed his love to his family – by being present at their sporting events, going camping with them, allowing his grandchildren to pile stuffed animals on him while he was “sleeping”, by being a protective “big brother”, by stressing that family was more important than career and success, etc. He loved his family and it was clear that his family loved him very much as well. What kind of legacy are you leaving with your family? Are there relationships that you need to heal?
Faith. Bob and his brother were PK’s, or pastor’s kids. Bob graduated from seminary and had a strong faith that he modeled for his family as we heard in the remembrances from his children and brother. His Celebration of Life service was a Christ-centered one that included much loved hymns and scripture. Bob also sang in our church choir. Are you leading your family in the ways of the Lord? Are you leaving a legacy of faith for your family that could carry on for generations?
Vocation. In her comments, Bob’s daughter mentioned that she felt that her father’s greatest legacy was adoption. Bob helped facilitate thousands of adoptions. In fact, he made forty-two trips to China helping parents bring back new members of their family, some of whom attended the service. After the service I talked to a long-time friend of mine who benefitted from Bob’s adoption work. They were one of the families that Bob went to China with to bring back their adopted child. Bob truly integrated his faith and touched many lives in his work. What kind of legacy are you leaving in your work? People will soon forget what seemed at the time to be outstanding results, but they will never forget how you affected their lives.
Bob was a beloved brother, son, uncle, father, grandfather and husband. As a believer, his family has confidence that they will see him again in glory. Until then, he has left a wonderful legacy, which should be an encouragement for us to do the same.