Beautiful Things Are Her Legacy

Beautiful Things Are Her Legacy

Photo by  Math  on  Unsplash

Photo by Math on Unsplash

Six years ago our family and my parents' friends gather to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday. At that celebration, I had the opportunity to speak.  Most of those thoughts are found here, What Will They Say About You?

Last week most of the same group was going to gather to celebrate my mom's birthday. I was supposed to say a few words about my mom.  That event had to be canceled but I wanted to go ahead an post what I was going to say.


I share my thoughts here as a testimony to my mom and her willingness to follow Christ and show His light to those she comes in contact with.

Let me start with a scripture:

"But Jesus said,"Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." Mark 14:6-9

Those three scriptures come from the end of the story where, while at the house of Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead, a woman poured a year’s salary worth of a fragrant perfume, on Christ.

When some of those around the table saw this act of worship they complained. I am going to leave those complaints alone, and I am going take a little liberty with just a few phrases. Recently after hearing a sermon on this scripture passage, three phrases stuck out to me:

She has done a beautiful thing…
She has done what she could…
What she has done will be told of her…will be her legacy.

As family and friends, when you think of mom, of Betty what comes to your mind?

  • Phone conversations, one right after the other, and if it were possible, more than one conversation at a time
  • Fried cornbread
  • Pinto beans
  • Picking out Henry’s clothes
  • Never passing up a manicure or hair appointment
  • Sour cream raisin pie, and coconut cake
  • Shopping and returning to those shops, just as often, to make returns

But probably also

  • "I will pray for you" and she means it
  • What are you doing? "having my quiet time"
  • Her ‘heavily worn’ Bible near her chair
  • Taking food to someone who is sick or a family in crisis
  • Picking up a friend and taking them shopping or out to lunch

I also think about this, always supporting dad, wherever God called him, WAIT, wherever God called them.

The hills of North Carolina where the only salary was…well not much, but they did get a couple handmade quilts.

Hudson, where they needed other jobs to keep food on the table, while they served a church.

Norwood, where God said to build a church and have lots of hot dogs, hamburger and fried-chicken dinners to pay for it.

Mooresville, a place of transition where lasting friendships were made

California, wait, WHAT, 'from one coast to the next. I don’t know anyone and it is 2700 miles from my family.'

Back to North Carolina to a great place where they shaped the course of an institution but a place that had extraordinary pressure

And then, with the big question of WHY hovering over them, and a move to Cleveland.

But if not for that move most of you would not be here. And, Cleveland, became the place of a new beginning where together they have impacted the lives of many.

In all her life she has been and continues to be a supporter and a contributor, partner in ministry. Dad would not have been able to do all God ask of Him, if mom was not willing, a supporting wife and in-tune with God.

She has done a beautiful thing…
She has done what she could…
What she has done will be told of her…will be her legacy.

You know, when we were growing up in our home, up through high school and even college, we don’t remember having a Thanksgiving that was just us.  There were always others in our home. People who did not have a place to go, families, students, just about anyone. Still today, mom and dad do not do life alone, they do it with others, friends their age and friends who were once people they mentored and taught. That will never change, that is not who they are. There are still pot-luck adventures, competitive card games, and shopping trips to come.

She has done a beautiful thing…
She has done what she could…
What she has done will be told of her…will be her legacy.

Mom, your legacy is seen in the relationships with your friends, the students you opened your home too, your children, and your grandchildren. Your life, the beautiful things, all you did, is because you were and are willing to follow Christ. As it is written in the gospel of Mark, "what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.”

Another translation says

"...what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.”

Today your family and your friends are here to say “happy birthday” but really we are here to say, you have and are living a life that reflects your love for Christ.

You have done a beautiful thing...
You have done what you could…
What you have done will be told of you…this will be your legacy.
The Pursuit by God

The Pursuit by God

What will they say about you?

What will they say about you?