May 19, 2011

Physical or Spiritual - Ruth Sakstad

Last Saturday I helped at a memorial service for a woman named Judith, who had passed away at 102 years of age. I did not know the woman, so I had to rely on the eulogy and testimonies that were given by various members of her family to get a sense of who she had been. I'm afraid I came away from the memorial service feeling sad and a bit sick. The only things Judith seemed to be remembered for were her cooking and vegetable gardening. There was no mention at all about her spiritual life or how she had affected any one's life spiritually. There was no mention at all of her being a Christian (even by the pastor who conducted the service).

I have attended and helped at funerals/memorial services for people who lived much shorter lives. The majority of those lives were remembered for how they had impacted the lives of people around them spiritually.

One memorial service I remember well was for a man and his young daughter (they were killed in a tragic car accident). This man, his wife and daughter were returning to Turkey where they were teaching English and impacting the lives of Muslims around them by the Christian lives they lived. Even their young daughter was remembered for her outgoing nature and her impact spiritually. After his wife had recovered sufficiently she returned to Turkey by herself to continue the work they had been doing there.

The question I have asked myself, and I challenge you to consider, is how am I impacting the people around me. What is the legacy you and I will leave behind? I want to be known for both - physically and spiritually. I think that is what the Christian life is about.


  1. So true—we are here on a mission, to carry on the work that Christ began when He walked on the planet. If we are remembered for being His hands, feet, and voice in a dark world, we have done our task as He ordained it.

  2. The gift of writing is the greatest opportunity for leaving a legacy--especially for our children and grandchildren.
    Ann and I wrote our marriage devotional, Happy Together, for them on our 50th wedding anniversary.
    Whether they'll read it now is questionable--but perhaps after we're gone when it'll have its greatest impact!


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.