Never again will I think that no one ever notices me. Never again will I ever think that I cannot influence anyone. Never again will I think that God cannot use me.
Because I have seen the influence of one person.
I met my father-in-law around 14 years ago. Half of that time he’s been battling vascular dementia. So I really haven’t known him long and I definitely didn’t know him during his prime years. But I’ll tell you what I am seeing and hearing now that he is staring death in the face.
I am hearing statements made by his children that bring honor to his character.
I am seeing the faces of people who look at this man with love and devotion.
I spent time with a wonderful lady today who was directly impacted by this man’s care of her when she was a little girl.
I spoke with the Hospice Chaplain and was told how much he loves my family and how we cared for this man.
I have seen people arrive at the house who have driven miles out of their way to pay a visit before he leaves this world.
I have read Facebook comments stating appreciation for his service in the church.
I watched his grandchildren, with tears in their eyes, say goodbye to a patriarch.
I have read comments praising his good reputation.
This man has been in a bed for 4 years and has not really uttered a word during that time and he has still influenced people for good.
What’s my excuse? What do I want people to say about me? What do you want people to say about you?
I know I can definitely influence people to think that I am arrogant, prideful, and judgmental because I have those faults and tendencies. I have burned bridges without meaning to. I have hurt people with my words. There have been times when I have either done something, or neglected to do something, that has caused someone pain of some sort.
That’s not how I’d like to be remembered.
It is unfolding before my eyes. God is reveling to me why He wants me, and others who follow Jesus, to be above reproach. Do you want to know why? Because we have absolutely no idea who is in our circle of influence. We might think we do. We might have a good idea of some of those people. And I know it’s a churchy phrase but, “You never know who might be watching you.”
In 1 Timothy, God tells us to live a life above reproach and that no one should be able to speak ill of us. Oh, how I have failed to do that.
But the more I learn about him, these verses describe Papa:
“You man of God…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” ~ 1 Timothy 6: 11-12
Who are my witnesses? What would they say about my reputation?
I don’t know.
But I desire to live better because of the influence of one.
Who has influenced you like this?
**Papa died around 6:30 this morning. He now walks the streets of gold with his Savior.