by Bruce Strom
She’s all grown up now, married with a family of her own. But her father still stands tall. His legacy continues.
I opened the mail this past week with a note from her. “My father thinks your cause is honorable. For Christmas this year, he asked that instead of buying him a gift, we donate to your organization. Thank you for what you to do help people. Merry Christmas!” Her dad had written a few weeks earlier with a gift of his own, “I was deeply moved and further inspired after reading your book Gospel Justice. You and your ministry have been in my prayers.”
Shortly thereafter, we received a note from a friend in Iowa honoring this man: “Thank you for your mission work and following your calling to make a difference. Merry Christmas and God bless.” The same day we received a letter from a women’s group in the man’s church. Did I forget to mention this man is a pastor? Then another note from his wife: “My husband feels strongly about the work you are doing and asked instead of a Christmas gift this year, I send a donation to you. Thank you for using your talents to help those in need of your services. God bless your ministry. Merry Christmas.”
Each included a check, honoring their father, friend, pastor or husband.
What a legacy!
While I may be a writer, words fail me. I cannot describe the impact each letter had on myself and our team at Gospel Justice Initiative. The humble example of this pastor was significant. I could not help but see Jesus through him.
At this time of year, we celebrate the greatest gift of all time – a baby wrapped in love lying in a manger. God so loved the world that he GAVE his one and only son. Jesus would demonstrate the meaning of love as He served others. He asked us to follow Him and do the same. “By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you show love for one another.” Jn. 13:35.
I love the Bible. A love letter from God I get to read about men and women who advanced the Kingdom of God in big ways and small. Their example inspires me. We still have such men and women around us today. Like this wonderful new friend, they don’t make the papers, the news, or receive accolades. But they do their part to follow Jesus and advance His Kingdom of love in a dark and broken world. One act of kindness. One small sacrifice makes a BIG difference.
I will have stuff under the tree this year. Honestly I don’t need it. There is certainly nothing wrong with that since I know each gift is given in love. But the stuff will perish. I want to be more like my friend who understands it is more blessed to give than to receive. I’m going to try and follow his example. Maybe you can too. What a gift. What a legacy. Thank you to my humble friend and to God be the glory as we follow His example and
Go and Do Likewise!