Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This past week, one of my great uncles died. This may not seem like a big deal...I wasn't close to him, but if you understood the Lynch family, you would understand the significance. The Lynchs are close...I have grown up knowing great aunts and uncles, second and third cousins as if they were first cousins and close aunts and uncles. We are a close knit family. And this is our third funeral in a year. My granddad and his two sisters are the last three of ten Lynch kids.
It is amazing how much I realize what this family has given and taught me. The legacy they have entrusted to me. They love one another despite mistakes, difficulties, lifestyles, etc. They are protective of their own. They show up en mass at graduations, weddings, and funerals...they share in joy, applauding personal victory and sharing in it as their own. They come together to celebrate lives, cry together (although they don't show emotion well) and support one another. I have learned family loyalty, strength, and love from them. Those who have divorced from the family are still considered family. Those who marry in may be given a hard time initially, but once they are in, there is no getting rid of them. I have gained strength from this family and a strong appreciation of family history and identity.
As we drove back from New Mexico to Lubbock, my two aunts, grandmother, and dad stopped to show me the places my grandparents had grown up on farms, where my great grandparents had grown old, where my grandmother played basketball in high school, the ugly and beautiful legacies of generations before (including the fact that my great granddad at his death a few years back was the oldest bootlegger to live in the US...his dad had been a preacher in the late 1800s early 1900s). They introduced me to Cherry Newtons (a combination of cherry flavoring, milk, and coke...it doesn't sound good but it isn't half bad) at a little run down restaurant. Then we drove to the war memorial.
Apparently many men in my family, including my great uncle who just passed away, and my granddad have served their country. Their names were written on huge slabs on this little West Texas war memorial honoring the men and now women from the area who have served. I learned one of my uncles was a POW in WW2. I was proud to be a part of this legacy and hear the stories of those gone before me.
It made me curious about the legacy I will leave. Many of the Lynchs are not Christians...they live life according to their own rules and I can't help but think that the legacies they are leaving are ones that will one day be forgotten. I pray that the legacy I leave will be one of eternal significance. A Nicole Nordeman song says it best, "I wanna leave a legacy, how will they remember me? Did I choose to love? I pointed to you. Wanna leave a mark on things, wanna bring an offering, child of mercy and grace who blessed Your name apologetically, to leave that kind of legacy."
I pray my legacy will be the ones I get to spend eternity with. I pray that I pour into the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ and that I bring others into this eternal family that I belong to. What kind of legacy will you leave behind? Matthew 6:26 says, "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal."
Leaving a legacy,