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What Will Your Legacy Be?

We had just sat down for lunch after an extremely hectic morning when we got the call. Someone from our church had died in a car accident and we were needed. Sigh. We were just talking about how we needed a few hours to unwind from all our activities and sleep. It wouldn't happen this afternoon.

We gathered together songs for the funeral service and hastily made our way out the door. It was raining hard and the sky was dark, almost perfect conditions for the moment. Where we live, viewings are held in people's homes, since there are no funeral parlors. We moved through the crowds of people who came to pay their respects. There were at least 30 people crammed into the small living room. I could feel myself starting to suffocate, not only because of my tight space, but because of the stench. Almost no one embalms bodies here because of the expense. Bodies must be buried as soon as possible to avoid odors. But, sometimes relatives have to travel great distances to arrive and the body waits. We were asked to lead the music and Norberto began to strum "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" as the people mourned and wailed loudly around us. I looked up at the sky blue painted walls and asked God to open hearts as our pastor shared. We only had four songs on our sheet and with one great hymn of the faith we were inventing a new melody with every verse!

As we were singing our unrehearsed hymns, Timmy fell asleep in my arms. He had no idea of the turmoil and ache of those around him. He was at peace with God and the world. Somehow, he became the center of attention and everyone in the room had their eyes fixed on the innocence of this sleeping boy next to the casket. Peace. Perfect peace. Yes, Father; you give peace in the midst of pain. I was reminded of John 14:27, Peace I leave you, my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

On our way home, we talked about not fearing death and we shared about what we want to leave as our legacy at our own funerals. Norberto said, "I want to tribute a life of service and obedience." Yes, indeed that was my desire too. I added, "I want my death to bring more people to the mission field and to bring people to the cross." We both yearn to be faithful to the end and we pray God's strength to continue to "fight the good fight".

What about you? What is the legacy you want to leave? How do you intend to do that?


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