Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Working on a Legacy

By Belinda

Psalm 145:4 (New International Version)

4 One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.

Last week I listened as a colleague led us in devotions on the subject of legacy. In his district they held a retreat with legacy as the theme, and people shared stories about those whose influence had impacted them in an important way. I would have loved to have heard those stories, but at least I got to hear Barry's.

Unfortunately I can't tell the whole story, because I couldn't write fast enough as he spoke about "Big Bob" Johnson, the best supervisor he ever had. Big Bob was the mill superintendant at the Asbestos Hill Mine in a remote northern location into which Barry flew and where he spent months working as a very young man, after university.

Among other wonderful qualities that Barry described, he said that Bob was always visible, and would always ask him, "How're you doing young fellow?"

Years later, when Bob was dead, Barry wrote to his son, Peter, asking how he was. He received a letter back, and he shared such a poignant paragraph from it, that I did ask Barry if I could write it down. His son wrote:
Hi Barry,
Always good to hear from you, I hope all is well with you and your family. I guess you could say that the mourning process is different, yet similar for everybody. There is not a day that passes that at one point I don't see him in my thoughts or find myself quoting or making decisions based on, or repeating something, that he may have said. I imagine that as time passes these thoughts may diminish (but I hope not.)
I guess we spend a lifetime working on our legacy, whether we realize it or not. Big Bob Johnson's legacy of kindness and character is living on in Barry and Peter, and rippling out further here.

3 comments:

Dave Hingsburger said...

How odd. I came here after posting my post for the day ... very similar theme ... approached very differently of course, but ... today in particular, this really meant a lot to me.

Belinda said...

Dave, dear friend, I just read your post for today and it gave me goosebumps. So often I read Rolling Around in My Head the morning after I've posted, and it seems as though the same Voice was whispering into our ears. And yes, how wonderful that the message God gives us for the day comes out so uniquely but similarly through all of his children. Kind of like what Peter, Big Bob's son wrote about the grieving process, "different and yet similar."

And I can think of few people who leave a more important legacy than you.

Susan said...

Two great posts today. Dave's and Belinda's... Kindred spirits or what? :)