Legacy… Gives Back

I was thinking about the idea of giving back.  My heart wants to curl up and hide, but I know that that will not cause my life to be better.  In a couple weeks we will celebrate my husband’s heaven day.  I look back over the year and I am overwhelmed by how the Father has blessed and taken care of us.  Time after time I have seen His hand.  So, as we remember my beloved husband and share stories, I pray that this gathering of dear family and friends would begin a legacy he started in all of our lives.  And importantly, a time to give back.
When I was reading through our caringbridge journal, I came across this.  I was think, again, how this was written for the future us as much as the us we were then.
The idea of “paying it forward” is often loosly attached to nice things people do “just because.”  I’ve been in the process of exploring this deeper.  Much like digging for treasure, it has required persistence, patience and good old-fashioned hard work.  Getting dirt on my hands and knees and sifting to find something worthy of value. 
 
I prefer the term “leaving a legacy,” over “paying it forward.”  A legacy is something we leave behind that lives on through generations, something to be remembered by.  I like to think of it as, something that shines out of our hearts (Jesus) and is remembered by generations.  
Another thought I had recently was, paying it forward, is not paying a debt.  We don’t do it for how it makes us look or for recognition and we don’t do it to get in “good” with God. This idea of doing good because it was first done for us, is because of Jesus. If we do something nice for others it should be because of Him.  We cannot pay it forward or leave a legacy without  His goodness planted inside us.  How… the planting is a willingness to invite Jesus into our home (heart) to free us of all those dark corners, dirt, shame and guilt.  Once those seeds are planted life grows and fruit grows.  Goodness is a fruit, the act of kindness out of love, is a direct reflection of what Jesus did for us when He died; taking all our wrong and sin on himself, even before we were born. We didn’t deserve this gift but he sacrificed anyway and offers it without cost or repayment, to everyone.  When we pay it forward or leave a legacy, let’s remember who we do it for.  And let’s share goodness and kindness because He did, no other reason.  Our acts of kindness, are a beautiful fruit we offer the King, not the recipient.  And let’s bless others, not because they deserve it, but because they might choose to begin a legacy with Jesus light too.

In that light, I like to think of Chris in the role of leaving a legacy.  Materially speaking, Chris left us with all we could ever need.  Those whom he shined Jesus light to, have in turn shone it on us and blessed us richly.  Our emotional and spiritual needs are met because Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us; in storm, valley dark, desert or mountain top.  He is with us, Chris lived like that, was he human, of course, but the point is, he lived and because he fully and truly lived, others know life, including us his family; and that is a legacy, paid forward.  We have hope more than we did before cancer.  When you think of paying it forward, think of treasured gifts, why do you give it, whom do you give it to and think of Jesus great love for you.

     With Christ, your legacy is already being painted.  You may never know the lives you touched or how a simple word took on special meaning.  Give back, as you were blessed beyond measure.

 
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2 thoughts on “Legacy… Gives Back

  1. Oh these words…so beautiful and true. Legacies are left when we surrender to let Christ shine…and your husband sure did that, as did my Mum. Oh yes, we have SO much more hope after cancer than we had before. My Dad had this Scripture engraved on Mum’s tombstone:
    Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
    And that’s it, isn’t it? Dying in the Lord births hope and new life, not just for our loved ones who have succumbed to cancer, but also for those of us left behind, as we remember and hold onto the love of God that poured out of them. Thank you for reminding me of this.

    Liked by 2 people

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