By Aly Rivera
When I first meet someone, I often share my name, exchange a handshake, a smile or maybe even a hug. I would bet you do the same. Some impressions are long lasting while others seem to be less memorable. Recently, I met someone who left an imprint in the lives of many.
I attended the funeral of a grandmother to one of my husbands’ childhood friends. I didn’t know the deceased and barely even knew the family. When I arrived at the funeral home, there were people standing around the lobby greeting those that came in.
What was different, was that people were smiling and reminiscing of the life of a woman that had meant so much to them. Everyone began exchanging stories of the past and sharing what her last days looked like. She had asked to die at home surrounded by family with love, prayers and singing.
Her children and spouse spoke of a woman that had spent her life loving God and serving Him by sharing His love to those that she encountered. From children to adults, people felt the love of God flowing out of her just by being around her. Even when she was firm, she still showed love and compassion.
I sat there listening to each person go up to the podium and share the imprint that she had left in their lives. I was in awe of the legacy that she had left and her unwavering faith even during her last moments of life fighting cancer at age 82. I heard she encouraged her family not to wear black at her funeral but instead to sing her favorite hymns in celebration of her return home.
It’s said, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” The impression left on my heart that day encouraged me and also challenged me. This lady helped me see the difference I can make today and the potential I have before me.
Christ asks us to continually act out of love. To be selfless and show in our actions what His love looks like. To give grace just as He gives it to us. To show forgiveness just as He shows forgiveness to us. What could our lives look like if we simply loved and forgave when it was difficult to do?
Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” NAS