A dear friend passed away yesterday, a fine Christian man. By today’s expectations, he wasn’t old, just mid-70’s. But he had been battling, uncomplainingly, with a rare form of blood cancer, for many years. But there came a point, earlier this year, when he felt the battle had to end. But his Godly faith ensured his place in eternity, and the questions we discussed will have all been answered. His worldly suffering is behind him. He is in Heaven now, filled with inexpressible joy. Secure in Jesus’ presence. In my last conversation with David he said, “Christians don’t have to be afraid of death, do they?” And neither was he.
And as my prayers passed to his wife and family, my thoughts turned to his legacy. Everyone I have spoken to have good memories of David. His wit, his charm, his kindness. His willingness to do anything for anyone. His legacy can be seen in his family, the community (all the bulbs he planted in the last year or two are bursting out of the ground in flower, celebrating his selfless hard work), in the memories of the many people who had the privilege of knowing him. Someone said to me today that whenever she and her husband had a conversation with David, he always left them with a smile on their faces. But that was David, enriching all who came into contact with him.
We all leave a legacy after passing over the great divide. In their worldly life, Christians have a hope and future, and they leave a legacy of faith, exampling their trust in their Saviour. They leave memories that challenge the hopelessness of secularism and humanism. In recent weeks, two prominent men have passed away – Billy Graham and Stephen Hawking. Stephen left a legacy of being able to communicate scientific knowledge. Billy, a legacy of being able to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ. One’s legacy will fade into scientific history, possibly important to man’s knowledge of the world around us, but insignificant and unimportant in God’s world. But Billy’s legacy has enriched the lives of thousands, and has enabled them to put their trust in the Saviour and has given them a hope and a future. His legacy is one of great eternal significance.
David didn’t reach thousands, as far as I am aware, but he has reached many and I pray that his memory will bear fruit, the fruit that lasts, in the lives of those God brought into his life. And I wonder if David right now is looking around Heaven for a place to plant a few bulbs.