I met Leonard for the first time last night and I was impressed.
He was the oldest person at the Senior Citizens meeting in Cassoday, KS.
I was there because…what else are you going to do on a Monday night in Cassoday?
Besides, I was invited by my mother-in-law who had cooked some amazing food and wondered if I wanted to come along and learn how to play the harmonica (gotta love those guest speakers!)
Well…..having never given much thought towards playing the harmonica but loving good food, I was all in!
We arrived, set things up and here came Leonard. After introductions, I found out several things that fascinated me about Leonard.
He has been president of the Senior Citizens group for the past five years because no one else would take the office (at least this is what he told me!) He loves playing games after the meeting and has a great sense of humor. Leonard has been actively involved in leadership in his community for most all of his life. With obstacles of frailty and age, Leonard is fully engaged in life until the very end, living it to the fullest despite the fact that he recently lost his wife.
Leonard is an inspiration and so is Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is a sweet young mommy of 3 and married to a man who just accepted a call to pastor his first church. After years of praying and persevering, the dream job opened up and plans to purchase their first home and move 8 or more hours away from family was in the works.
What excitement as they were ready to enter into this blessed season of life. Then the news came that Elizabeth has been diagnosed with colon cancer at only 32 years of age.
With tears and prayers, Elizabeth and her husband sought the Lord and decided to move forward with their plans. In all of the uncertainties of what the future would hold, they trust the one who is sovereign over all and has led them thus far. They know that God will provide.
I’m inspired by people who persevere despite the obstacles that life throws their way.
I think of Susan who has fibromyalgia yet spends time helping beautify her small town.
I think of Rita who took up quilting at age 40, not content to sit around bored in her retirement, donating much of her work to raise money for charities
I think of Rick who loves kids and sports but has joint problems. He has supports for his achilles, knee and arches but as long as he can pull it off, he will always be in the game. Despite many obstacles, until his dying breath he will have a passion for preaching, it is wired in him.
Life is full of every day, ordinary people who decide to live life despite the obstacles in extraordinary ways.
They are people like you and I who struggle with the same issues that all of us do, yet decide to move forward and keep living life to the fullest.
They leave a legacy to be remembered in their small corner of the world.
We all can leave one, we just have to decide how we want to be remembered.
At the end of the day, what will it look like? What will we live for? Or better yet, who will we live for?
As for me, my goal is simply Amy Grant’s old song, “Father’s Eyes”:
“I may not be every mother’s dream for her little girl and my face may not grace the minds of everyone in the world.
But that’s alright as long as I can have one wish I pray: when people look inside my life, I want to hear them say, ‘she’s got her father’s eyes, her father’s eyes;
Eyes that find the good in things, when good is not around;
Eyes that find the source of help when help cannot be found;
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain;
Knowing what you’re going through and feeling it the same.
Just like my father’s eyes (repeat)
And on that day when we will pay for all the deeds we have done,
Good and bad, they’ll all be had to see by everyone.
And when you’re called to stand and tell just what you saw in me,
More than anything I know, I want your words to be,
She had her father’s eyes.”