I was just up in the sanctuary admiring again the stained glass window that Dick and Madeline Tabor had donated years ago, looking for a kiss again (the chocolate kind!) from that wonderful ol’ guy. It’s a lovely window. Some people who have more money than they know what to do with, might provide a pipe organ, or even a whole architectural marvel of a building as a legacy. But if we were to just see something as beautiful as a window as the legacy of people as impactful as the Tabors, we would be missing so much.
Some might say that window is just be “the tip of the iceberg” for such a legacy, but I think that, too, is off the mark. As beautiful as it is, a window is but a thing, and the legacies this couple left, the legacy I hope to one day be able to leave, is a legacy of impact on people, that can only be pointed to by any “thing.” Perhaps the window is better thought of as something of an icon—an image to point you to something much more deep and expansive.
The gift of a window, a pipe organ, even a building, is really more of a concise decision or act. It might take some time to think about, design or put together, but it’s not a reflection of a lifestyle. The legacy of people like the Tabors, though, is more the result of lifestyles of blessing, built one piece at a time, day by day, out of a habit of moments of investing in and blessing others. Which leads me to the question to ponder—what habits of blessing am I living out today, or at least developing today, that form a lifestyle where every day I live is another day to bless someone else?
Makes me think of a great song from the rock opera, Godspell, first produced off-Broadway in 1971—Day by Day, whose chorus goes (with some repeats) “Day by day, O dear Lord, three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day…” Ever since first hearing that song, that has been my prayer, and I’ve since realized that following Jesus more nearly, and loving Jesus more dearly, means living habits of intentionally blessing others day by day. Perhaps that’s how the Tabors built their legacy, through being blessings day by day.
Following Jesus more nearly—Rev. Jim