I walked into my Papaw’s house less than an hour after my Mamaw’s funeral. It was quiet. Everything was still positioned exactly the way it always had been, nothing looked out of the ordinary with the exception of the empty chair beside the man who had just lost his wife of 72 years. My brother and I walked right in through the door leading in from the porch and found him sitting in his chair in the living room — where we just stood quietly chatting. We were heading to the airport and I hated to leave him. I’ll never forget that gift of a conversation, because it was our last one face to face. As we huddled together in that sweet quiet house talking about Mamaw, I heard the story of his proposal for the 768th time.
They had written letters to one another for months before they ever met. He found and stole her address from her cousin who happened to be his comrade in the war. They fell in love in the writing of those letters, and when he came back it didn’t take long for him to ask for her hand in marriage. “I asked her to marry me, and she turned to me and said, ‘Cliff! Are you sure this isn’t some fly by night proposal?’” I smiled quietly since I knew the story well at this point. And then he continued; “Well, it sure did fly.”
Only three months later, he joined her. And once again the church was packed. Not because of his great charismatic preaching or his matchless wit, but because he had poured his life out on his community too. He sat quietly by bedsides at the hospital, and studied his Bible with his neighbors. He was an imperfect man and she was an imperfect woman, but their lives told a beautiful story beyond themselves. There were so may people who found their way to me that day just to tell a story of how he had baptized their kids, or been there for a parent, or prompted their choice for Jesus… I lost count. He had told me once, when we were having a conversation about legacy, that when you share the hope of life with the people around you, it results in brothers and sisters and cousins and mothers that rival the stars. People treasure a point to life like nothing else you can gift them. And I think he was right. It was evidenced in the church that day.
How About You?
So how about you. If this life “sure does fly,” then what is your story telling? What do the people around you hear when they sit with you? What is the cumulative testimony you are offering a world hungry for life?
What would you like it to be? If that’s different than it is now, what’s your hurdle? Stop and read Psalm 23. We worship a God who prepares and positions us, who leads, who speaks, who shields, who comforts… stop and consider what you see about who He is. When we consider who He is, it empowers us to trust Him with our stuff. And when we trust Him with our stuff, we start seeing what he does with it. Our stories grow and we become firmly planted. So let’s testify, because our lives — they sure do fly.