I was at a Wespath meeting for the last few days of September. (Wespath is the name our General Board of Pension and Health Benefits uses; I’m blessed to be a board member.) In her opening remarks, Barbara Bogegrain, our General Secretary, reflected on the footprint or impact we each have. Barbara used a picture in the small historical display she’s had displayed on the hallway wall outside the assembly room we use to meet to illustrate her point. The subject of her reflection was Harry Hoosier, the African American pastor so instrumental in the growth of the church, the same man commemorated in the naming of a local church in Fayetteville! Barbara told of how touched she’s been by his story: born into slavery, illiterate, but able to recite large passages of Scripture and thousands (!) of Wesleyan hymns by memory, God used Hoosier changed Hoosier to change lives. His witness moved the Board of Directors of Wespath 200 years later.
Each of us has been blessed by the lives of people who have taught us about Jesus and Jesus’ love for the world. You wouldn’t be likely to be reading this if you hadn’t been blessed I in such a way. So I have a few suggestions for us:
- Tell someone thank you—or visit with them and tell them during the visit—for their work in shaping your life.
- Pray that you will live in such a way that someone will someday tell you thanks, or be able to remember you as I remember Rev. Hoosier.
- Live like you pray.
That all sounds sappy but I’m convinced it’s true. It’s true because I remember folks in my own past who disagreed with their fellow believers and did so in the unity of the Spirit. It’s true because I remember people who lived out John Wesley’s “catholic spirit” towards others. It’s true because last night I reread some of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermons and his legacy shaped me again. It’s true because at each homecoming I’ve attended this fall, I have heard folks like you give thanks for the Harry Hoosiers of your life such as when the Apostle Paul told Timothy to remember the faith of his mother and grandmother.
For whom do you give thanks?
Who will give thanks for you?
Grace and peace,
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Hello from Harvey – Your Footprint
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