Legacy

The first time I met him at a family function he sat there

An island of calm amid a sea 
Of excited grandchildren at Christmas
Joy and anticipation mingling
And despite the weight of three score years and ten
He looked contented as if the maelstrom was exactly where he wanted to be
As he welcomed me I saw his quiet sense of pride in his family
Gathered to celebrate the birth of One Greater
And his smile and willingness to tease those agitated first graders
Showed me in those first few minutes what compassionate fun looked like 
This week, two handfuls of full years later  I watched those once hyperactive children, older now, and men among men
Carry him to his final resting place and marking his passage to serve the Lord he loved face to face. 
Boys become men, girls become women
And those screaming children that once loved on and were loved by their grandfather see him no more 
But all of us are something more
Epistles of bone and flesh, we are written as his story to the world
And in that we realize what legacy is
And that an eulogy is really never finished 
But  he continues to write his story in the lives of his children and his children’s children and their children’s children’s children
Through generations, through time, 
Until time collides with eternity and we realize that the sense of joy and anticipation that was so freely shared on that Christmas so long ago 
Was just a glimpse of what lies when our real life begins when we are called to live with the One who knew our names before the dawn of time
 
I have thought much these few days of statues and plaques and markers that mark the accomplishments of ordinary men that my world calls great 
But those who are truly extraordinary, who understand what it means to live a life tempered by the grace and mercy of the Christ sacrifice 
Know that real legends and legacies are written in flesh and blood generation by generation
Marble and granite did not stand a chance. 
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