I wrote this not long before the world “shut down” last year, but as the man in this post faced a difficult diagnosis. I don’t know why I never posted and regret it now, knowing that these two never got to read of the impact they have had on my life. The Lord called this man home just a few weeks ago; his bride of many decades remains behind for now but not in good health. I share this now to honor them still but also to honor other brothers and sisters in Christ who have also been quiet, faithful examples to us, extending the hand of friendship, pointing us to the Savior, in many ways mentoring us through those relationships that will last beyond this life. I post it as well to remind us all that, this side of heaven, we may never know the lives we impact, but we are called to live faithfully in the Lord and let Him use us as He sees fit…even if we never see what He has done.
Quiet and unassuming, they come in and, on most occasions, find their way to the seats in front of us.
Other times we share a meal, though not so often anymore.
The two don’t realize the impact they have had and are having on our lives…and others.
We feel loved.
We are loved.
They aren’t flashy.
They aren’t loud.
They ARE faithful.
To the world, it is a quiet couple who has lived many years; to us, they are two dear ones, steadfast in the love of Christ for themselves and living out that same love for one another and those in their sphere.
To the world, the calendar speaks of a number; to us, the numbers remind us that a covenant is binding and beautiful – it is a gift that keeps the two one when circumstances and life might otherwise threaten to undo. Sometimes it requires a choice; many times it demands that we die to self, that we give when we would rather get, that we turn away from that which would wound the other, that we forgive amid hurt.
To the world, they are a statistic from another time; to us, their faithfulness is a witness to the truth that our unchanging God is still on His throne, faithful and true, righteous and just, loving and merciful in the midst of this ever-changing world; and that He is calling His children to be and do the same. It is a reminder that Gid Himself intends and that His Word is intended to shape our choices, heal our hurts, and make us steadfast not just in a moment but across time.
To the world, they are just faces; to us, they are family, though not by blood. They are greatly loved though they may never know how much. They display the Gospel with their lives and their words, living examples of grace and mercy; tender care for one another and those they encounter.
To the world, their bodies may be failing; to us, they convey strength because they stand in the power of God. They live, love, worship, and serve regardless of their physical stamina. They stand when it is physically hard to do so because they honor Him who loved them first and gave up His life for them, as He does for all who turn from themselves and call on His Name, in spirit and truth, as Savior and Lord.
To us, they are a gift and, though it has been a gift given later in both our lives, we will never be the same and we thank God for these two saints who stand at the threshold of eternity and who do so with trust even in trepidation, hope in the faithfulness of our God even in the unknown.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because (of your age); but be an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (I Timothy 4:12)
Yes, this was written to Timothy and, yes, it was written because of his youth. But, in this culture that prizes youth and mocks, even disdains, old age, I don’t think I am off base in knowing God would equally say the same to His older saints even as He spoke through Solomon,
“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31)
How thankful I am for these two God has put in our lives; examples in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
May we be as faithful witnesses to the generations behind us, mutually encouraging and challenging one another in the Truth of God and not swayed by the opinions of man.
What a blessing it has been to know this couple. Likewise, may God grant us a similar legacy to impart to those we encounter.