It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and future generations. ~Christine Gregoire
My RB has one speed -- fast. He talks fast, he walks fast and writes fast (35 polished pages written in one day -- including travel and some other normal duties). When he was a teenager his father told him, "If you slow down, I'll walk with you." I've used those same words, too.
In spite of how fast he may walk, he slows down for one purpose -- people. He. loves. people. It's not something he puts on for social occasions. It's not something he pulls out when he thinks someone can be useful to him. It's genuine. The man who fills those fast-walkin' shoes loves people.
RB told me one day that he wanted "People Need the Lord" at his funeral. And while that wasn't a thought I wanted to entertain, I knew it was a testimony of the mission statement of his life. For years, every Friday when the garbage men came to the campus where we lived/worked, he took coffee (and sometimes donuts) to them. On bitterly cold mornings, he invited them in the school to warm up.
There are times we can sit across from someone and share the gospel. But there are many more times we have the privilege of loving someone to a relationship with God.
When we can separate the sin from the sinner and offer love. When we share their pain of broken dreams.When wood shaving by wood shaving we remove the chip off their shoulder. When our money removes the physical need so the spiritual need becomes revealed.
Emily and I were waiting for RB Wednesday...and waiting...and Emily said, "He probably found a new friend." It's a legacy, this love of his. It's worth more than any monetary gift he could give our daughters.
RB sees the need in each person he meets -- the cashier at the store, the harried mother, the one who made the wrong choices, out-of-work husband, the rebellious teenager, the middle-aged father whose dreams have shattered in the wake of day-to-day struggles of putting food on the table. He has time for the elderly, the child, and everyone in between the two. Or as Steve Green put it:
On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.
Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life
Only we can share.
And that is how RB shelters. He whispers the Words of Life through a handshake, a hug, sometimes a joke and many times by listening. He shares their private pain, their fears, all those silent cries, and gently carries them to Jesus. His smile, his hands, even those fast-walking feet become Jesus to the people who need Him.
What about your feet? You may take slower steps than RB, you may shuffle a bit or trip over your feet, but it's not in the feet, it's in the heart. And if your heart is full of love for those in need, it will spill over and leave the ones you touch with lighter steps and a heart open for the love of God. .