This week begins the first anniversary of the death of my father. So naturally my mind is drawn to memories of him and the legacy he gave me. My father was not a wealthy man, but he was rich in wisdom and that he spent liberally to any that sought it from him.
As these things came to me, I tried to reach back into my memory and find some of that wisdom and for whatever reason nothing came to the surface. Bewildered I then sought out memories of the good times or the bad, anything that stood out, and again I came up empty. It was around then as I was preparing for a sermon that I found myself wandering through the word of God.
I was a weird experience. I felt as though I was being led as a child through a dark forest at night while holding tight to my father’s hand. Every once in a while, we would stop and linger in a place and I can hear him whispering to me words of love and comfort that I cannot remember nor would I share if I could — they were for me and me alone. We finally arrived at our destination, it felt like stepping into a clearing on that selfsame night. The moon came out and lit the place with a surreal otherworldly glow and there we sat.
I had found myself in a passage that I had spent many a long hour dwelling in, 2 Timothy chapter 4. This is a chapter that Paul is writing to the protégé Timothy; he was at the end of his life and wanted to leave a legacy to his spiritual son before he stepped out of this world and to the next. I don’t know why the Lord led me here in such an odd way, but here I was, nonetheless. It was then that these words leap off the page and slapped me upside the head; 2 Timothy 4:6–8 (NAS): For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (Verse 6-8)
It was at that moment I could feel my father smile. My father, for all his faults and failures, did one thing with exceptional clarity, he poured himself out for those he loved. He gave unconditional love to his wife, my mother, even when she left him twice. I watched him win her back twice. I saw what it was like for a man to truly love a wife unconditionally.
If asked what my father’s legacy is, I would have to say this: he gave his whole life for those the Lord brought into his sphere of influence. He did this intuitively as he followed Jesus, Paul and rest of the biblical authors. He loved recklessly and relentlessly. He, like Jesus, will ever be a part of me. Sleep well my father ‘till we meet again in that blessed land. I will do what I can to pass you on to those I love.
Pastor Al Weeks and his family serve in First Baptist Church of Kenai. FBCK is a warm fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Join them Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.
• Pastor Al Weeks and his family serve in First Baptist Church of Kenai. FBCK is a warm fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Join them Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.