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This past week, a Christian blogger passed away. I did not really follow her story too closely, nor did I know her, but my social media feeds have exploded with posts during her final weeks, including a post posted after her death to her readers.
This woman had an intense impact on many people. Her words were beautiful. Her love for her family was deeply obvious.
Two years ago today, a young woman I grew up connected to also died of cancer. She left behind five children and a loving husband. Not a blogger and less a public figure, although married to one, her life and death no less touched many, especially the joy with which she traveled through her final days. Her funeral was livestreamed and attended by hundreds.
Sometimes when I hear of the impact and legacies left behind by women like that, I find myself comparing my life to theirs. Would I have rooms full of friends at my death bed? I doubt it. Would I have an audience full of people reading my last words? No, because I have chosen not to develop this little blog as a major platform, and while I write all day long, my words are not inspirational unless your name happens to be Google.
Yet, as I reflect back on what made these women great, was it really something any different than what Christ commands of everyone? It's the day to day faithfulness, loving of people and loving of Christ that makes women like these shine.
And all so often I fall so short, with eyes turned inward instead of outward and upward. I hear myself snapping at my children because the stresses of the day get to me, and find myself thinking a good mom would not do that. I think of ways to help a friend after the help is needed, and realize that a true friend would have met the need quickly. I realize a need presented itself after it has already been fulfilled.
Should I try to be like these women, so I have a legacy when Christ calls me home?
Actually, I think the answer is no.
Instead, I think the answer is that I should strive to know my God, reflect Him in my life and learn to see others the way He does.
The legacy? Does it matter? Not really. What matters is entering eternity knowing I have done what I can to serve the One who died for me.
Perhaps, when you focus on that, the legacy stops mattering, right at the time you are creating it.
And perhaps, this, in truth, is where I fall so deeply short.
Yet, don't we all?