Ah, there it is! A freshly poured batch of cement, all smoothed over, ready to dry and become a sidewalk! But wait! Opportunity is knocking! Quickly look around you and see if anyone is watching. You only have a couple of seconds. Don’t miss this amazing opportunity! Before the cement sets, we could….! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Just how tempting is it to go over and leave an imprint of your hand, or your foot in the wet cement? Tell me my friend, would YOU yield to such a great temptation?
I remember doing that once when I was a kid. Just once! And oh boy, was it ever fun in that moment. That wet cement feels ever so good as it squishes through your fingers and between your toes. Yep, and there, behold, is my beautiful work of art! Dad should be so proud of me! Or, oops, judging by his face, perhaps not. And then, there is that painful reality of the truth that there will be consequences for my actions! They too left an imprint, a lesson never to be forgotten.
And yet, I do have some good news for you, my friends. Well, besides surviving to tell you my imprint in the cement story! Not all opportunities for leaving an imprint leads to bad consequences. Thank goodness for that! Sometimes those opportunities to leave an imprint leads us to great blessings!
Within the last three months, my husband and I have lost one relative and five friends through death. It’s been a really hard season of life, where so many people that we know and love have been taken from us. We feel like we are on a grieving merry-go-round. Yet, each one of them have shared a special season in our lives; some short, some longer, and yet all left lasting memories that we can cherish in our hearts for months and years to come. Each life was an artful masterpiece designed by the God of all creation. Each life – each imprint will never be forgotten!
Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the imprints we all leave behind when we die. How will our loved ones and friends remember us? Those unforgetable memories, cherished conversations, acts of kindness, lessons of truths learned, or the unforgettable example that was led. We will all leave an imprint of some kind or another. If we are believers in Jesus Christ, then that imprint will be a blessing to those around us AND that imprint will last forever as part of our legacy.
In order to leave a godly imprint, we need to not only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but we should also live like the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 13:15, Jesus said to His disciples, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” Jesus spent time with His disciples – loving them, caring for them, encouraging them, eating with them, fellowshipping with them, guiding them, teaching them, and always living a perfect example before them. Jesus left an imprint on their hearts and lives; an imprint those disciples would never forget. They would be forever changed simply by knowing Jesus, loving Him, learning from Him and serving with Him. Jesus had no intention that it would all stop right there. No way. Jesus challenged them to “go and do likewise.” He wanted them to go and leave a godly imprint on someone else’s life. Jesus wants us to do the same thing. Whenever we share a gentle word of encouragement, whenever we do a kind deed in the name of Jesus, whenever we teach others godly truths, whenever we live a godly example in our daily lives, whenever we are the hands and feet of Jesus in someone else’s life – – then we are leaving an imprint within the hearts of our loved ones, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and fellow Christians. And that imprint leads to cherished memories and lasting blessings for those we love. Now that, my friend, is a work of art that our “Daddy” would be proud of!
(Note: So what about you? What are your thoughts about leaving an imprint? I would love to hear your responses to my writing on the subject. Please, feel free to leave me a comment and share your own imprint story.)