I stared out the window absent-mindedly; a blank, vacant look probably clothed my face. My mouth may have been open... I do that sometimes. I think I start to say something and I never do. You may as well have hung a neon, flashing sign over my head, that said "Kaitland is a looney!". I'd probably never notice anyways.
I was immersed (quite literally) in the task at hand. The vicious bubbles spun from Dawn dishwashing soap clung to my arms, all the way up to my elbows. A rag hung limp in my hands, being sort of rubbed, sort of flopped against whatever dish I was holding. My phone sat on the the window sill, playing assorted contemporary Christian songs, compliments of Pandora.
All this to get to the main point. A song came on. "True Love" by Phil Wickham. As it began to play I listened. But it wasn't long before I tuned out. I began remembering a verse. At the time I didn't know the exact reference (it's John 15:13, in case you were wondering). I just remember thinking "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." When I was younger I thought I knew what that meant. Death, of course. Jesus died, and so we must be willing to die. I thought "Of course I would die for a friend! After all, I know I'm saved, but I don't know that they are." And only recently (the past year or so) have I begun to realize that that verse doesn't specify how we are to give up our lives. It dawned on me that giving our lives doesn't simply mean ending it to save another. That's giving our deaths. Giving our lives is so much more. Our life is each second that we are breathing and our heart is beating. There are two ways to give that up. We substitute someone else's for our own (i.e. taking death for another), or we give of those seconds to others. We give the life that God has given us, and rather than stealing it for our own selfish motives and purposes, we freely give of it to those that ask it of us. For if we leave this life having lived for ourselves, we take nothing but our souls with us, and we leave nothing behind. We take our life with us. But if we leave this life having acquiesced to the wishes of others, and giving them love by giving them our lives, we take love with us. The hearts of those we gave our lives to. We leave having left smiles and tears, memories and laughter, love and heartache. We leave a life behind.
As I thought on all of this, I decided to think of love in its true form- God. I then thought of God manifested as man- Jesus. It began to click in my somewhat slow, thick head, that love had lived among us. He had shown everyday what I was just now finding out. I had always thought that his legacy of love was his death. But I was wrong. It was his life. It was the constant giving of himself to his disciples and followers. Never was he angered by their questions and requests for miracles. He gave his life over to them. He gladly instructed them and spent time with him. It wasn't about what was on his agenda. He made his life about the very people who put the nails in his hand. And he knew it. He knew as he spoke to them what they were going to do. But despite that knowledge, he instructed them anyway.
So I realized that every time I see a face running to me, asking me to come see this, or please do that, to sigh and say "I have a life to live, too!" is such a waste of the love that I have, through God's presence in me. I saw that I was, in truth, sinning, to put myself before others, because the Bible commands us to do just the opposite of that. That isn't to say that we can never again do what we need/want to do. But if it isn't the priority, we shouldn't make it. People will remember the giving of yourself to them far more than the day to day minutae of life. And so I will close with a verse from the chorus of the song "Legacy" by Nicole Nordemann.
I want to leave a legacy, how will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough?In Christ and Of Christ,