My dad is my hero. He has left on my life the marks of a servant of God with great faith. My dad is also the hero of my assistant Cristina’s dad. Dad has left a lasting impression on his life. In talking to Cristina’s mother the other day, thanks to Skype, she said her husband cannot talk about my dad without choking up. Why is that?
He was saved and delivered from alcoholism through my dad’s ministry. He started his Christian life being disciple by my dad. He saw the example of our home and wished with all his heart to have that kind of a home when he got married. His wish was granted, and now one of his daughters is my assistant. How awesome is that?!
Reflecting on this I thought of the importance our life has on the people we meet. I wonder if my life has left an impression on someone. I sure hope so. Let me quickly tell you of some people that have left impressions on my life.
Respect for God’s House
I learned the importance of respect for God’s House very quickly at age eleven –in Arequipa, Peru– through an older friend I had. She had invited one of her nieces to church and I sat with her, talking all through the sermon. My friend, Nelly, reprimanded me and said this was a golden opportunity for her niece to hear the Gospel and I had blown it for her. That left such an impression on me that even to this day it makes me feel very uncomfortable when people sit talking in church. I sure learned my lesson!
A lesson in forgiveness
This I learned from my teacher in fifth grade, also in Arequipa. She was a missionary from England, very loving as I remember her. Somehow the girls in our class had divided into two groups and for some reason we were rivals. Another teacher tried to make us be friends but it didn’t work. Miss Payne, if I remember her name correctly, talked to us in her loving spirit about forgiveness. I can’t remember the words but they left an impression because to this day the lesson in forgiveness she gave us is still clear in my mind.
This also is a lesson I learned as a child. We were meeting some missionaries and the lady was ugly. As soon as I saw her I commented to my mom how ugly she was. “Wait until you meet her,” she said. True to Mom’s words, as soon as we met and started talking my impressions of her changed totally. I thought she was the most beautiful lady I had ever met! She had such a sweet spirit. It made up for her ugliness. To this day, I value inner beauty. We many times look on the outside, but God sees the heart. That was a very valuable childhood impression.
A listening ear
What I mostly miss about being a widow is that I don’t have anybody to talk to. Sure, I can pick up the phone and call someone, but that’s not the same as having a loved one by your side to share thoughts with. What impressed me and made me fall in love with my late husband is that he listened to me. On our first long walk together I poured out my heart and he repeated time and again, “I understand.” Come to think of it, that is what my daughter says to me many times, “Mother, I understand.” What a blessing! When we are in trouble and our heart is heavy, we don’t need a thousand words. Someone that will listen is the best therapy.
Waiting for Jesus return
Tant Olga (Auntie Olga) was an old lady my husband and our little girls used to visit from time to time. What she talked about with passion was about Israel and the coming of the Lord. Her greatest desire was to be here when Jesus came to take his Church home. This was close to forty years ago. She is not here awaiting Jesus’ return, but she left a lasting impression on my life. Maybe she is the reason why it’s so important for me to finish every series of lessons I write with some teaching on the coming of the Lord and awaiting his return. For me that is most important. Jesus is coming soon! Praise his name!
Ingegerd has left and impression of kindness in my life. When we were young missionaries she was the church treasurer and was in charge of sending us the support checks. She exhaled kindness! When we went to Sweden on furlough and my husband was out traveling visiting churches, she would think of me being home with two little girls. We had no nursery at the church so it wasn’t easy for me to go to the services, especially because my oldest daughter was very active and could not sit still. Ingegerd would volunteer to watch the girls so I could go to some of the services. That was just one act of kindness. She impressed me and I’ve many times wished I could be kind like Ingegerd.
Patient in suffering
My “mormor” (grandmother on mother’s side) impressed me because of her patience in suffering. She had health problems that today would have been easily taken care of. She was patient and her endurance impressed me. My late daughter, who had cystic fibrosis, also impressed me with her patience in suffering. We were praying for her healing, but she said, “Even if the Lord doesn’t heal me, I’ll serve him the same!” That’s the attitude I want to have. In whatever circumstances I want to serve Jesus.
I think this is enough for now. Other people have left impressions… but what I feel important is to ask myself if I’m leaving lasting impressions. I have my daughter and my grandchildren. What legacy am I leaving them? Am I making any lasting impressions? What will they remember when I’m gone?
Will you ask yourself the same questions?