Recently I stumbled upon a historic photograph that a distant relative had put online. The photograph circa 1891 and was a primitive family portrait of my Great Grandparents and their family. There among the eight children was a 15 year old boy that would some day become the man that my Mother would name me after. I had never seen a photograph of my Grandfather as a young man and don’t think that another one exists, but I had no difficulty recognizing him in the picture. While I enjoyed seeing the 121 year old photograph, I was shocked by their apparent poverty. The girls were wearing simple homemade dresses cut from the same cloth. My Great Grandfather’s boots were severely worn. The boys were dressed in ill fitting but neatly mended ‘hand me downs’. The adults were seated in old wooden chairs placed on uneven bare earth. The picture gave me the impression that the family was probably indulging in a luxury that was very rare to them. Then I noticed something that had previously escaped my observation. In this once in a life time photograph, my Great Grandmother had prominently displayed on her lap a well worn Bible. I was only seven years old when my Grandfather passed away at the age of 92 but I can still recall the sound of his voice as his song resonated throughout our little country church. Two of the smaller boys in the photo later became pastors and all faithfully served the Lord until their death. My Great Grandmother Elizabeth valued highly the Bible and taught it to her children. My Grandfather loved the Lord and served him faithfully his whole life. My father loved the Lord and constantly had my brothers and I sing in four part harmony. I have endeavored to show my children the importance of serving the Lord and now as a Grandfather I enjoy seeing my children involved in their church and my Grandchildren learning about Jesus. I have not inherited lands or money but I was left a legacy of faith.
I can’t read through Hebrews 11 without wanting to cheer. Those heroes of the faith who remained steadfast despite their present sufferings, those men and women whose lives stood as a testimony to proceeding generations, whose lives shown in stark contrast to a sinful world and whose lives continue to inspire successive generations. What a legacy! Have you ever wondered how you will be remembered? If those who knew you best were called upon to give a one word description of your life what would that word be?