I have been thinking about something all week and just needed to write it out.
Last Sunday we went to a visitation. A friend's husband died in an accident. It was sudden, unexpected, so sad. We arrived at the visitation about 5 minutes before it started. We waited in line two and a half hours before we got to talk to our friend. There were well over 1,000 people waiting to offer their condolences.
As we waited two women walked by talking. One was younger (late teens, 20's?) The other was an older women who worked at the church. I couldn't quite hear what the younger woman asked, but could see the amazement on her face. I clearly heard the older woman's response, "No, he was just a humble man who was loved by many." Those words sunk in, they have been rolling around my thoughts. What an aspiration, to be humble and loved.
I have imagined what the younger woman might have asked. Was he famous? Was he important? Certainly it must have been something like that. Maybe he was rich? powerful? To have touched so many lives, that he would be missed by thousands. But no, he dispatched school busses and raised pigs. He touched people in the everyday.
It is so easy to desire to become "known". We want to be remembered for our accomplishments, our abilities. It is so easy to forget that it is our humble everyday that touches people most. In our quest for a life of significance, it is easy to forget that it is things like kindness, goodness, patience, gentleness, and faithfulness that leave a lasting legacy.
A famous movie star died at the same time. In twenty years I might vaguely recognize his name from some old movie. But in twenty years I am sure I will clearly remember the "humble man who was loved by many."
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..." Galations 5:22-23a