Carrie Fisher. George Michael. Fidel Castro. John Glenn.
In recent weeks each of these people – in an instant – departed from their earthly home to face eternal bliss or eternal wrath from the hand of their Creator. God placed a period at the end of the brief sentence that was their lives.
“Behold, You have made my days a few hand breaths,
And my lifetime is as nothing before You.
Surely a man stands as a mere breath! Selah
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
Man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!” Psalm 39:5-6 (ESV)
At their passing each one left behind to those who knew them a collection of memories that we call a legacy.
Legacies cause a response. They stir emotions. They shape lives to one degree or another.
I'm the beneficiary of the legacy left by a godly lady named Helen Roseveare. She passed away in early December at age 91.
Maybe you’ve never heard of Helen Roseveare. Evidently most people haven’t. I googled her name to find a news story about her death and the first story listed was that of the passing of Pierre Étaix, a French clown. Her passing evidently wasn't a big deal in the newsrooms around the world.
Ms. Roseveare faithfully served as a missionary in the Congo from 1953 to 1973.
Her resolve to live her life for this One who loved her, thunders from the pages of her book, Living Sacrifice: Willing to Be Whittled as an Arrow:
“To be a living sacrifice will involve all my time. God wants me to live every minute for Him in accordance with His will and purpose, sixty minutes of every hour, twenty-four hours of every day, being available to Him. No time can be considered my own, or as ‘off-duty’ or ‘free.’ ”
A life lived for God’s glory - that was Helen Roseveare’s legacy.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (ESV)
Each of us will leave a legacy. We don't have a choice. For the Christian, we have to ask will our legacy be one that pleases our Creator, our Redeemer? Will it stir our brothers and sisters in Christ to pick up the pace?
Thankfully – by God's’ grace – it can.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (ESV)