the legacy we leave (part 2)

>> August 19, 2009

(...continued from yesterday's post...)
Two years ago, I (Sarah) attended a regional PW luncheon. About 130 women of all ages gathered for fabulous food, fellowship and to hear an inspirational speaker, Dr Wilma McClarty. (Sadly, she recently passed away from a brain tumor.)

Dr McClarty's message was about our legacy as PWs. About the little things we might never dream would have a lasting effect. She shared a story that burned itself on my memory, and I'll pass it on to all of you PWs here:

It was 5 AM, as she boarded a shuttle to the airport to catch an early flight. A dozen or so passengers began the two hour drive by introducing themselves and getting acquainted. When her turn came, she shared that she was a professor at a nearby Christian university. Other passengers immediately responded favorably to the university's reputation.

"Oh yes, I had some student interns from there in my office - great kids!" "I've heard about you guys, doing all that volunteer work in the slums!" "Great school!"

With every glowing comment, Dr McClarty sat a little taller in her seat. "Oh yeah," she thought to herself, "I'm proud of my school!"

Until one quieter passenger asked, "Isn't that school from such and such denomination?"

"Yes, absolutely!" she answered proudly.

"I thought so. I know all about you guys!" the other passenger announced bitterly. The group's attention shifted to the new speaker.

"My grandmother used to work for a farmer from your university's denomination when she was a teenager. She worked for him every summer, along with other local kids. And every summer he paid her half what he paid the kids from his church - for doing the same work!"

Eyes widened at the farmer's injustice. Dr. McClarty wasn't sitting so tall now. In fact, she felt like shrinking into her seat as the bitter passenger recounted events from a hundred years ago. None of the passengers were now thinking about the great work her Christian students do every day in the community. Instead their unfortunate final impression was of unfairness from decades past.

Her lesson to the audience of PWs? "That farmer had no idea that his injustice would be repeated to an entire airport shuttle a hundred years later. He never dreamed his actions would be a curse through generations, retold as a reason to disdain his Christian identity."

"Ladies," she said, "as pastor's wives, seek to be sure that you are acting according to God's principles in everything you do. And when you make mistakes, do your best to make it right. You never know the legacy that you are leaving behind!"


LJCP,  August 21, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

This is a good lesson for all Christians! Also, just want to mention, that instead of feeling under the spotlight to be the perfect representative, PW's can take the opportunity to show the women in their church (as well as men and young) that being a follower of Christ means being an ambassador. We are ALL called " to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). And again, the closer we come to Jesus, the more naturally this will happen. We are called to be the same in private as in public, and only with a growing relationship with Jesus will this be possible. Courage! Dig into the Word! Allow the transformation to wash over you that God desires! John 8:36 "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

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