On an afternoon last October, we finished up my last session of computer training. We chatted about his wife and how much he loved her. He shared with me how he proposed to her. He told me about a missionary they supported and why St. Francis was his favorite saint. And, of course, we talked about which K-Cup coffee we liked best!
He ran a final system check on my computer to make sure I wouldn’t run into any unexpected blips and then zipped his bag and we walked to my front door. “See ya later sis!” he said as he opened my front door to leave.
His name was Bill and a few years ago, we began to call each other brother and sister because we were just that — brother and sister in Christ.
But, he came into my life ten years ago as my computer trainer. We met when I was an intimidated blind woman who didn’t know how to type or turn on a computer! For ten years, off and on, Bill sat at my desk with me, coaching me on new applications, updating my computer programs, and helping me sharpen my skills.
And then on that October day, he said “See ya later sis!” to a woman who had written ten books, thanks to his tireless support and computer training.
A few weeks later in mid-November, I got a phone call that Bill died.
Bill was gone. Too soon. Totally unexpected.
Of course, almost every time I type on this laptop I think of him, but it isn’t just because of what he taught me. I think of him because of how he treated me.
His legacy was not in his career, but in his character.
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Have you ever thought about how you wish to be remembered in the minds of others when you leave?
Rarely are people remembered for what they do in life. Seldom are people remembered for what they say, but people are always remembered for how they treated others and how they made others feel.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” -Pericles
Your life can outlast you if you weave it into the lives of others.
It is not what you do and have, it’s WHO you are.
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The Greek statesman Pericles got it right. What we leave behind is what we weave into the lives of others.
The kindness, love, patience, and encouragement we sow into others’ lives is part of the fabric of who we are and it becomes part of the fabric of who they are too.
What we give of ourselves reflects the substance of our character and lasts far beyond our last heartbeat.
Most days that my fingertips press the keys on this laptop, and often as I hear my speaking software, Jaws, read back what I type, I think of Bill. I think of his well-lived life and how his legacy lives on through what I write and publish.
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So, sisters, let’s be mindful of what we weave because that is what we leave behind.
As Eugene Peterson paraphrased Pauls’s words from Galatians, “…what a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others — ignoring God! — harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8 The Message)
In the comments, honor someone who left a legacy in your life by typing their name. And, if that person is still here, tag them so they’ll know how they are impacting you.