A Lasting Legacy

My wrinkled 92-year-old-mama looked up at me as I entered her cheery green bedroom.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him again.” She paused, “I miss him.”

“I do, too, Mom.”

“Him” is my dad. He’s been in heaven for almost five years now. The longer he’s gone, the more I appreciate him.

Not only did he take me poisonous snake hunting when I was a girl, but he filled out mammoth piles of paperwork to enroll me at Asbury University when my life wasn’t so good. He made me laugh, and when something touched his heart, he cried. He showed me that it was okay for a man to cry. (Except in baseball.)

He stood by me when I rebelled, and opened his arms wide when I came back.

But the thing I love most about my dad is what he left me. It wasn’t money. That corrodes. He left me a legacy of following Christ–not perfectly, but completely.

Often, when my dad preached, he’d march across the stage, paying no attention to the podium. Sometimes, he’d grab the back of his collar, face the audience, look in an imaginary mirror, point his finger and say, “Ray Wert, what are you going to do for Jesus today?”

It’s a good question. A valid question.

I can know the Bible backwards and forwards, but if I don’t tell someone about Jesus, or better yet, show them, what good is it?

The book of James is all about that. Believing. Doing.

My dad did that. Today, as I knelt in prayer, I read from the Salvation Army Songbook. He put brackets around a verse written by Charles Wesley.

“Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire

To work and speak and think for thee;

Still let me guard the holy fire,

And still stir up thy gift in me.”

Before the verse, he wrote a place and a time, after the verse he wrote in his all caps, left-handed scrawl, “DON’T LET THE FIRE GO OUT.”

I miss him, too. But Dad’s legacy lives on.

And one day, we’ll talk about it. We’ll talk about Jesus. And we’ll see Him.

In heaven.


2 Comments on "A Lasting Legacy"

  1. Brian Sloan says:

    I never knew my mom as an adult. She left when I was 9 yrs old. I can’t wait to see her again.

  2. PaulIne Hylton says:

    Won’t that be grand, Brian?

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