So, last night – last week by the time this publishes – I wrote about two deaths, my cousin who was about a year older than I am and my friend Mike Dorman – from high school. Well, really I knew Dorman in eighth grade but whose keeping track? I thought specifically about the memorial service we had for Dorman here in Tampa.
More on that in a bit.
Through some of the comments I received I stated to think about the impact we have on the lives of people around us and most of us will never know that impact this side of Heaven.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
I mean for me, I see some of it in the way my son is growing up. Oh boy, if you wanna know how what you do is seen by others hang out with a seven year old for a while and try to sneak the phrase “butt-monkey” into a conversation you don’t think they’re listening to – jeeze-o-pete!
“Daddy, what’s a butt-monkey?”
You may not like it or even want it – the attention of people around you – but you’re getting it. People are watching you. People are paying attention and they are either emulating you or turning their backs and looking the other way.
Both can be good and both can be bad.
Charles Barkley once said that he did not want to be a role model – I get that. Being a role model means that you’re responsible for your actions – especially when they are coming out of another human being.
That’s pressure and it sucks.
But then there are times when I hear my son pray over our dinner and I am astonished at what comes out his mouth. I marvel at how he gets it, how his little seven year old brain sees the truth – of course Jesus said they’d get it. He said don’t keep them from him.
I don’t plan too.
You do impact those around you. It can be your smile, your hello, a nod, a grimace, a snarky good morning, a grunt a groan – and it is all a choice. You make it everyday consciously or not.
So in 2007, after Dorman passed away, we held a memorial service for him. A boatload of people showed up to pay their respects to a guy that had touched more lives than he may ever know.
I thought I was a “social chameleon” in high school?
The call went out that we were doing this and people turned up looking as different as I expect Heaven is going to look – representing every tribe and nation. I really do think it was a glimpse.
But there we were, long hair, some hair, short hair no hair, guys, girls, black, white, professionals, day laborers, cooks, cleaners, bank tellers, moms, dads but all for ONE guy. I did not get an official count but I would guess there were between 50 and 100 people there that night – and I know of several that could not make it.
The power of one guy, the draw of one guy; one man’s ability to take a group of clearly different people and give them something to bond over. To celebrate, to weep for, to rejoice over.
It’s not new you know? It’s been done in the past.
Now, there have been many men – single men that unified a group of people but all of them have died and not been seen again.
That, however, is not true of Jesus.
That man died but did not stay in the grave. He is not still in the earth and he is the basis that my faith is grounded on, strengthened by and thorough whom I am empowered.
One man CAN have an impact.
One man has.
Sorry about the recent death of close ones, Mick. Never easy, especially when people pass away at a young age.
Yes, I had two sons that mimicked me when they were growing up. Sometimes the reflection wasn’t pretty. Your post has reminded me that I am still *surrounded by a cloud of witnesses* – and that it’s ever-so-important to be a good ambassador for the Lord. (Though, truthfully? Sometimes when I ponder that He’s left us to represent Him I think, “WHAT were You thinking?!)
Yet, it is only in yielding to the One man who has eternal impact, that we can have any influence at all. May He continually mold us into effective witnesses to HIS good news.
(If you have any heart at all, do not mention the Super Bowl. Thank you.)
I frequently expect to look up in the sky and the that God has put “SMH” in the clouds. That he left us in charge of not only the planet but in spreading his message is definitely one of those “boggle the mind” type things.
On the other topic – my lips are sealed 🙂