It's been over a decade since I've aligned myself under that man's leadership, but as a child, he was a hero to me. Throughout my entire childhood, he was my family's shepherd. He dedicated me & my brother in the church, he baptized my older sisters and me, & he ordained my Dad. When it comes to spiritual milestones in my family's life - this man had a significant role.
I have a vivid memory of, as a 6 year old, sitting in the small trailer that served as his office and telling him that I made the decision to be a Christian. I still have the tiny white New Testament that he gave me on that day. I remember working hard to memorize bible verses and running up to him on Sunday mornings, reciting my verse, and delightfully accepting a shiny nickel he'd pull from his pocket [that man had to have a mad stash of nickels to give kids like me].
In the past twelve hours, my facebook news feed has exploded with people sharing similar memories, posting pictures, and recalling his words of wisdom as he married, baptized, discipled, and gave to countless family's who have parallel lives with mine.
I'm thinking about his influence. And mine.
influence: the capacity of a person to be a compelling force on, or to produce effects on actions, behaviors, and opinions of others.What sort of memories am I leaving with the ones I share life with? Am I even doing that at all? Are they uplifting, encouraging, and positive; or are they hurtful?
I am the first to brag on my friends and family. Mine are better than anyone else's. I have had the honor of having incredible people in my life. They give so much to me. Today, I just can't shake the thoughts about all that they give me, and in essence, leave to me - in simply living life with me now, or having done so at some point. There is not enough paper in the world for me to pen the ways my people have compelled my actions, behaviors, and opinions.
Today, there is nothing that feels compelling about me. Nothing that feels influential. Everything feels haphazard and imperfect and mediocre [especially in light of all the kick A people I am surrounded by]. What is it about that living life thing translates into influence? What is it in me that makes a sibling comfortable confiding in me, or puts me on the mind of man who is across the country? Is that my influence? Do I want it to be?
I'm feeling overwhelmed with the good that is and has been my life. It's making me cry a little today. And I'm equally overwhelmed with all that I do wrong and half way and poorly. I wanna grab up the ones I love and squeeze them til we all burst in fluffy joy. At the same time, I'm feeling the emptiness of the voids in my life and anxious to fabricate filling; kinda achy to have perfection in my living. [i am a silly girl.] I want to say all the things that I usually don't have the courage to. I want to do all the things that I usually don't have the courage to do. I'm feeling a great sense of urgency to figure out the best version of myself and knock socks off, being her.
And I simultaneously want to smack myself for being such a feely mess today.
C'est la Mort, The Civil Wars