How will you be remembered?

By Becky Spell Vann - Contributing columnist

What will family and friends remember about us when we’re gone? What special memories of loved ones live in our hearts heart? What are our favorite stories about Jesus? Wonder how Jesus celebrated his 33 birthdays? Jesus humbly served and shared without being an attention seeker. He taught turning the other cheek and living peaceably yet, when things were not right, He rose up to take care of them. He silenced the Pharisees by kneeling to write in the sand with a challenge for those without sin to cast the first stone. They would have but couldn’t. Jesus could have but wouldn’t!

Could we cast a stone, would we? National and world news casts show people casting stones and acting crazy beyond belief. Political corruption and moral decay increase tension and stone throwing from people in all ranks and races across our land. Surely, the state of affairs and sin infested society of our nation makes Jesus sad! Do we make Jesus unhappy by our words and actions? Are we walking with Him or working against what He taught by example?

I can visualize Him not being happy with his closest friends (disciples) trying to shield Him from the little children who longed to get close to Jesus, sit on his knee, and hear Him tell stories. He stopped and said, “Let the little children come unto Me.” And they did!

Do we, His children, go to Him and sit at His feet as Mary did…just to listen and learn? Sitting at His feet can be…kneeling beside our beds, walking on the beach, turning off electronics for quiet time to reflect and write in journals, praising Him on the way to work, discerning and standing up for what is right at work, in politics, in play. Taking time for lunch breaks on a park bench and reading the Word, gatherings to talk and pray, family nights to foster communication, quiet time with Him between appointments or waiting in line, before the sun rises, in your prayer room, or wherever close communication with Christ works for you is wise to do daily. Time with the Lord each day keeps the devil at bay. Rising early for time together is my cup of tea!

Jesus preached through parables peppered with love and laced with lessons. Surely, those closest to Jesus took those precious parables for granted. Can you imagine Jesus being late for a meeting with the disciples and Matthew saying, “Oh, Jesus may not make it for fish and bread tonight; He’s telling another story to some children down by the well.” Being on time is important, but allowing interruptions that can be a blessing to others and us is also. Jesus taught some of His greatest lessons and did amazing miracles when he stopped for interruptions.

I can imagine his parents wanted to spank his bottom when they realized he was not with them but had tarried at the temple to teach God’s Word. Rushing back with wonder in their hearts was not easy for parents who couldn’t put their eyes on their twelve year old son. Understandably! Have you experienced the anguish of thinking one of your loved ones was lost or late and you didn’t know why? Jesus was late joining the family for the long walk home, but He had been about His Father’s business and all was well.

I can hear Jesus now calming his mother and father’s frustrations with confusing but precise, prophetic words. Can’t you hear Mary telling her family the story of their trip and Jesus’ powerful preaching to the Pharisees. With a cell phone or computer, her story would have gone viral in seconds. Yet, the good news stories Jesus brought to mankind have gone forth from the time He ascended and charged the disciples to go and tell. You and I have that same charge to serve Christ and tell the stories of Jesus and His love.

I pray that my stories bless others as much as I am blessed by writing and telling them. Thank you to dear friends and strangers who encourage me to keep on keeping on. I love to tell stories of Jesus and His love. Hopefully, heaven has story time with Jesus! I’ll be waiting in line to sit at His feet and soak them up!

While we still have time here, sharing stories is wise. My daddy never talked about being a sailor in the war. One afternoon watching a baseball game together, I asked about his years in the Navy. He shared only his assignment and how he missed mother. I longed to hear more stories but they never came until my parents passed away. I received a large box of letters mother and daddy wrote to one another during the war when my siblings and I divided special treasures after cleaning out the home place.

It was 2001 when I tucked the box away in a safe place without realizing how precious the treasures inside were. Two years ago, my heart stirred to pull it from a shelf in my prayer room and survey the wonders waiting inside. Three hours and a box of tissue later, I had read over 50 handwritten letters and knew details about mother and daddy’s love story that made me even more proud to be their daughter.

There were questions I wanted to ask mamma and daddy about chapters in their love story, but couldn’t. Their loyalty to one another and to our country made me want to stand and shout with pride for parents who went through so much I never knew about. It was the wee hours of the morning when my letter reading celebration came to a close, but I wanted to share the treasure of letters penned by Harold and Mary when their love story began in the 1940s! It is times like that when I yearn to share time with loved ones gone on to glory, those who live far away, and those who live close but are so busy that time to visit and spin yarns seldom happens. Anyone reading this story understand what I mean? Spending time and sharing stories with loved ones can be endangered unless someone in the family intentionally helps make it happen. Are you that someone?

It seemed selfish to put those precious letters back in the velvet box and pack it away again. They needed to be shared. I chose ten special letters and placed them in a large envelope, wrote a personal letter about the treasure of preserving family stories, and mailed them to my sons, brother, sister, and brother in law. They were thrilled when they received the unexpected gift and thankful to have a personal piece of our parents’ (and grandparents for Cameron and Clint) love story. I’m so thankful for receiving and finally opening the treasure that held stories I had longed to hear since I was a little girl. Take time to share time with loved ones who may not be here tomorrow to tell their stories and teach their lessons.

Can you imagine the celebrations in heaven and changes on earth if all God’s children would repent, revive, and rise up in joyful service to the Lord? Hearts would be right and victory in Jesus would reign across the world. Then, we could show and tell as we go and tell our stories!

By Becky Spell Vann

Contributing columnist

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.

Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.