Leaving a Mark

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

—John 11:25-26 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered if you’ve touched someone’s life? Maybe so. If you have children, it’s easy to answer in the affirmative. Steve and I are different. We don’t have human children but rather fur children. Because of this, sometimes I’ve wondered if, when I pass from this life to the next, I’ve left my mark on someone’s life.

Then it happened.

This is a story that will live with me for the rest of my days.

I’m in a prayer group. This group has been together for over fifteen years. We pray together. We laugh together. We cry together. We do life together. About three or so years ago, a couple in our group announced that in 2019, they’d head overseas for the husband to take a job as the rector of a university.

At the end of 2018, Elena*, one of the ones in our group, wanted to honor the wife of the couple. She requested that each of us ladies put together our favorite Bible verses. She used those to make a verse-a-day calendar. I procrastinated, but finally, as 2018 turned to 2019, I sent her a few verses. Then I promptly forgot about that until she presented the calendar to the wife in June 2019.

Unbeknownst to me, Elena had made an additional copy for herself. Then, when Dave* in our small group had a cancer that took a turn for the worse later in 2019, Elena gave her copy to Angie*, his wife.

Angie kept that calendar close, even if she didn’t look at it every day while she cared for her husband. He took his last breath and passed on to glory a week ago.

Last Friday dawned bright and clear. Steve and I were going to the homegoing service that afternoon. That morning, as I sat at my computer and waited to log into the system, I checked my phone for messages.

Angie had texted me. She told me that very Friday morning, as she prepared to go to the homegoing service, she turned to the calendar and flipped to the verse for that day, the very verse at the top of this post and one of the ones I’d e-mailed to Elena.

It’s the same verse the minister used for his homily at the service. I think it provided that extra confirmation and assurance Angie needed to know that God was with her.

Stunned, tears filled my eyes.

Who knew that a verse I’d chosen so many months previously for a completely different purpose could be used in such a way?

God knew.

The night after the memorial, while Steve and I shared supper, he looked at me with a gentle smile. “God used you, you know. He used you to touch Angie when she needed it most.”

Tears filled my eyes. He was right.

My friend, maybe you wonder if, in your struggles and brokenness, you’re leaving a mark on this world. Rest assured you are. In God’s economy, nothing’s wasted. Your actions, your words, your kindness, make an impression on people. Always remember that.

In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Your actions, your words, your kindness, leave a mark on people. #authenticity #encouragement Share on X

*Names have been changed.

Question: In what ways have you realized you’ve made a mark on someone’s life?

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