Look what you left!


I have just returned from a funeral of someone I met more than forty years ago.

This man, I do not need to mention his name, was an encouragement and an example to me in my younger and naïve days, when our kind of Christianity was all zeal and no wisdom. Mind you, not a semblance of wisdom!

We were great guys! We were bulls in a china shop. When we left a place there wasn’t any china left…in fact there wasn’t any shop left! We were rough, crude and unsophisticated in myriad of ways.

We never meant bad. We just preached the Gospel with a gigantic gusto and a passionate fervor and never left till we saw results.

As I stood before his coffin and looked into his now frozen face, a multitude of memories flooded my brain and soul like a dam bursting its sodden walls.

Here was a man who showed me what it was to be consistent and disciplined. I learnt what it was to be on time, learnt to dress for the occasion, and not anything goes anywhere as the manner of some is today. I was taught to give respect an honour to church elders and Pastors. I learned be silent when I needed to, and be courteous when I needed to.

But most of all I saw, I noticed, I observed, I keenly followed and kept a close watch on his life and lifestyle. It mirrored his words. His steadfastness amazed me. His dependability blew my mind. His exemplary life motivated me to new heights and fresh horizons. He was indeed a man that was much needed for all of us.

Once in a way, or I should say several times in your life you intersect with men whose life touches you, and changes you, and catapults you to align yourself with the calling you have and the man you ought to be. Such was this man!

But, pardon me, I must ask…!

What will people think when they see your frozen face in a coffin, bedecked with flowers and you dressed up for a party?

In other words…what have you left behind to flood memories of people like a dam bursting its sodden walls?

Still, in other words…what has your life done to take someone else to a new height they did not go to before, or a fresh depth they have never experienced before or…aagh! you know what I mean?

Well…I have my answers and you have yours. (We always seem to have answers!)

But most of all, this man taught me to love God and His Word.

I can look back more than forty years and say… “Thank you Lord, for that brief intersection of lives, the effect of that which changed my destiny and today is taking me on course where I must finish my own task”.

This man never had much. He stayed in a simple home and lived on a simple pension his railway job gave him. But here goes…

…Tis not what you have that matters…tis what you leave behind!