How The Legacy Began
“You mean, you just stopped in to say thank you?” Slowly, the modest, elderly gentlemen’s eyes filled with tears. “No one has ever done that.”
This day started out Iike any other, but in a moment, became a day we would not soon forget.
In a small house converted to a church, we stood with the man that had essentially changed all of our lives. On this day, I believed we changed his.
Colorado Springs was much prettier than I expected, but due to the forest fires, it was hotter than I would have liked. I was about to see that no matter what the temperature, nothing was going to stop my husband from doing what he heard God tell him to do.
“I feel like we need to drop by their service this morning,” he spoke quietly, in a voice that sounded as if it surprised himself more than me.
As women, we have these “plans” of what the day looks like, and since this was just our stopover before driving twelve hours back to Dallas, this did not fit into my plan. I mean, I was in my sweats with no make up on because no one was supposed to see me; that was the plan.
If we’re not careful though, our plans can cast a shadow over His.
Deep down, I knew the way his voice sounded and the look in his eyes; we were going to church.
As we drove the thirty minute detour, my eight-year-old’s voice asked, “Daddy, why do we need to go to this church?” The question on all of our minds.
“Because I need to acknowledge where my legacy began.”
He continued. “On a bright, Sunday morning a pale blue bus pulled up on my street while I was out playing, and something told me to get on it. It’s final destination–the garden of Gethsemane church. The bus driver was quite friendly and asked me if I was alone.” To a nine year old boy, going this alone was quite the adventure. But God knew. My husband’s adventure was only beginning. That day in the service, the pastor gave the alter call, and Phillip walked forward and gave his life to the Lord.
Living in an abusive home, that single act was the very thing that changed his life and helped him get through the days of difficulties.
On this day, we stood in front of the man–who had since retired, but still ran the church–that led him to the Lord twenty five years earlier.
Everyone has a legacy–things handed down from the past.
I believe men want to be a part of a great legacy and hand one down to their children. But what happens when your family tree falls short of that?
For years, we had struggled that his legacy did not include the how-to’s of growing into a strong, confident, loving man of God; and searching the pages of his past and mine, we didn’t have a leg to stand on. What would we tell our boys? Who was responsible for their dad being “who” he was today.
Of course, it was Jesus.
But also, it started with this pastor who had diligently served the Lord quietly in this Colorado town, and if we had one of those beautiful family trees you hang in your hallway his name would be on it.
He was the reason for the biggest part of our families legacy, knowing Jesus, and we didn’t even realize it until that day. It happened almost simultaneously with my husband shaking his hand and the expression on his face.
What can we do to help ensure that we leave a spiritual legacy? The psalmist talks about this in Psalms 127:4. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth”
Back in war time, the use of arrows revolutionized the way men fought because they were able to make an impact in the battle from a great distance a way. In the same way, the psalmist is saying, we have the opportunity to impact future generations by passing our spiritual values on to our children.
It’s really quite ironic, by the way, that an arrow starts as a crooked stick or reed and it has to be carefully prepared to be effective.
All those years previous when my husband was a crooked stick, one man’s arrow pierced him with the opportunity to fall in love with Jesus; and it was a good shot to his heart.
The effectiveness of his preparation included leading me to church, where I fell in love with Jesus too, and as we left that small church that Sunday morning, our boys got to watch their dad thank the pastor for what the Lord did through him, on that fateful day twenty five years ago.
“Can I pray for you, one more time?” His lips trembled to keep from crying, all the while positioning my boys in front of him with his hands on their heads.
I think he knew something about the legacies we all leave. 😁
We have put to rest having a beautiful family tree, and my husband has begun his own legacy that he will leave. I have to say, I really like the way he’s shooting his arrows. The impact I see on our own boys will affect many generations to come. Now that’s a great legacy.