“For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Saturday, I attended the celebration of life for one of my high school coaches and gave a eulogy and blessing. Pat was one of the most influential persons in my life. She had a remarkable ability to listen with focused attention from the deepest part of her heart. David Augsburger wrote, “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” In Pat’s case, listening and love flowed together a part of the whole beautiful person she was. No matter who you were, a friend, a family member, or one of her students, she saw the potential within you. She had a special gift, the ability to make you believe you were special, valued, important. She saw the potential within each person. And that, in and of itself, was enough to make you a better person.
But the big surprise of the day occurred in a conversation I had with Pat’s brother. He told me that there were five men who had the most impact in his life, and one of them was my father. When he first joined the church that my family attended, he said that my father was one of those men. “Jim Findlay,” he said, “was a gentleman, a moral man, and was ready to lend a hand whenever help was needed. He was the kind of man I wanted to be.” I had no idea! 39 years after my dad died, someone made a point of telling me that story. What cannot be seen lasts forever.
Give us the grace to be attentive to the things that last forever ~ Anne