I walk through that nursing home, and a deep sadness falls over me. Our arms are overflowing with bouquets of paper flowers our girls have made for the residents. Some of the rooms have miniature American Flag’s hung from their doorframes, serving as a reminder of having done something meaningful for our Country. Other doors are bare. Still others hold pictures of little children smiling big, proudly showing off their great achievements through their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
An old woman opens her door wide, beckoning us inside. She is quick to talk and wants to share stories of days gone by. She offers us a fig newton and one of the girls a dollar bill. We stay as long as possible, but ten eight year old girls can only sit still for so long. They have things they want to explore in this new place and are distracted by the family of ducks swimming in the pond out back.
And as I drive out from under the weeping willow’s, I’m left with this sense of loss. This feeling that we are about to lose something that can never be retrieved. Time is slipping away, and the stories of these old souls will most likely be buried with them.
Because these people are living out there final days, and no one is listening.
No one is listening to the stories of great battles fought, of faithfulness in the midst of great betrayal, of overwhelming grief that bloomed in to promise.
And this week the news is overrun with the death of Maya Angelou and I wonder what people will remember most about her?
Will she be most remembered for her participation in the civil rights movement? Her poetry and award winning novels? Or for a few, will she be remembered most as mom?
We all have this intrinsic need to be remembered. To make a mark on this world that lasts beyond our days on earth. Few of us will leave a lasting legacy on the moon as Neil Armstrong did, or make a mark in history quite like Maya Angelou, but we all have this little plot of soil the Lord has given us in order to make our mark!!!!
Our intention is most likely to be remembered passionately and with deep love ties. Yet played out on the pages of our life, we get distracted by the “family of ducks in the pond out back” and neglect the ones most in need of our attention.
And we know our words and actions will be long forgotten, but the way people feel when they are in our presence, now that they will remember!!!
Do they feel lifted up and encouraged in our presence? Or do they feel rejected and criticized? Do our actions and words bring life to those around us, or do we kill and destroy with our tongue?
How do you want to be remembered? You can begin to make it happen today!!!
Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”