Friday, August 27, 2010
When it arrived today, I was almost afraid to open it. After over 80 years since it was carried home by a high schooler, I wasn't sure how it had held up. The outside seemed in fairly good shape, though the unmistakable smell of a back that's been packed up for a while was immediately evident. Yet when I opened it, the window into another time in my home town immediately allowed me a glimpse into how it was in 1918.
The building in this picture has gone through several lives since the time this picture was taken. It served as the vocational school when I was growing up. It wasn't until later that I learned it had been the original Lanier High School. It still stands, mute now as to what happened to all those young people who passed through its doors. Who now have all passed away.
When I looked at the names, having grown up in Macon and lived there most of my life, some were very familiar. Some went on to be educators and schools are named after them. Others were successful in business - there are still stores and restaurants bearing their names. But most of the names in that book are emblazoned on no more than tombstones. And eventually, all of the memories, the successes and failures will be gone. It's the way of this life.
So what lasts? What is it that any of can do that lives on?
Those acts which bring glory to God - that affect eternity.
The thing is, we don't always know what they are. It could be a cup of cold water. It could be a smile. Or letting someone know that Jesus loves them.
Or even a pair of shoes.
We're participating with "Soles4Souls" Sunday in what they call "Barefoot Sunday." We've been collecting gently used shoes for a few weeks, and at the close of the worship service Sunday, we are going to leave barefoot - giving the shoes we wore into the sanctuary into God's hands as He cares for those who have no shoes - through us.
Someone across the world will get a pair of shoes that were once on our feet. Maybe they'll wonder why anyone would do that. Maybe the Holy Spirit will tell them.
A lasting impression. A small thing, but done with great love.