Sunday, October 15, 2006

An Empty Seat

“…and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty.” (1 Sam.20:18)

My husband and I began our Anniversary yesterday by standing in line at 7:00 a.m. waiting for our turn to have blood drawn for a comprehensive screening. The occasion was the Health Fair that our local hospital sponsors yearly, a time when tests such as this can be gotten for a nominal fee. While we were waiting, a crusty old gentleman (older than us!) sauntered up to talk to the couple in front of us. “How are you?” he was asked, and he shot back, “That’s what I’m here to find out!” Someone made a comment about his age and then suggested that perhaps the reason he was still living was because he had not found anyone yet to take his place. It was a whimsical observation, of course, but the idea set my mind to whirring.

We, as children of God, would all like to think that when the Lord takes us to Heaven there will be a noticeable void, if not to the world, at least, to those who knew us. But, in reality, would it not be better if there was someone (or “someones”) remaining, who would be a reminder of the fact that we had made a difference with the life God gave us? Not replicas, just reminders. As a mother, I have always hoped that my girls would bear the imprint of my touch on their lives—at least, in any positive characteristics I may possess. Though I would certainly never want them to be “me” (I have always had higher aspirations than that for them!), I suppose what I am trying to say is that if anyone ever observes that something about them is reminiscent of me, I hope they will not be disappointed.

My thoughts dovetailed into these three points: First, we only leave a void if we have carved out a place for ourselves in the lives of others; second, we can help fill the void if we have taken the time to consciously influence those lives for God and right; and three, recognition is not nearly as important as reproduction.

I bear the marks on my own life of women who have influenced me through the years. Most of their names you would not recognize, but their memory is sweet to me. (One of them was my mother.) If I sought to boast of any of any virtues, I would list first that I was wise enough to pick good role models. They live on in the things I say and do and feel, but in such a subtle way that my individuality was never in jeopardy, I trust.

In the final analysis, the most important question is not “Will I be missed?” but “Will I be represented?”

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