I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such'n'such ... it wouldn't matter much
I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world
I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy
I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthly list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy
Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...
These words resound within me. I thought of this song a couple of days ago after several days of reading tribute, after tribute, after tribute about Reverend David Wilkerson who, if you are in christian blogosphere at all, then you know, died last week in an automobile crash in Texas.
I did not know David Wilkerson, personally, but when I heard the news of his death, I cried as much at the loss of Him as I have in the past when a family member has gone on. I felt abandoned and deeply sad. Why, you may ask. I learned about Rev. Wilkerson in the on-line community, through blogs written about things he had said. He became an integral part of my morning routine of quiet time with the Lord. He taught me about struggling as a christian to follow Christ, and about serving others; He taught me about submission to Christ and letting Christ live in me; I learned the value of reading and studying God's Word and persevering in times when I felt like the Lord had left me. I always felt like Rev. Wilkerson was saying to me, "watch me, Kim; look at me and imitate me as I follow Christ".
Even today, a week later, all I have to do is read something or watch a video about him, and I cry like he just died.
I watched this video this morning:
That my friend is what leaving a legacy is all about.
We ALL want to be well thought of; and if you're like me, you may have way too much of a tendency to be a people pleaser. The Lord has taken away my people-pleasing ways in the past few years. It's not that I no long wish to please people, but it is no longer the focus of my life. Just like Pastor Wilkerson, it has become more about pleasing my Creator, my Savior, and friend, Jesus Christ.
The wonderful, amazing, awesome thing is that when we focus on pleasing God, tremendous results occur; like, Teen Challenge, World Challenge and Please Pass the Bread...all ministries that David Wilkerson began at God's prompting. The Pastor who took over Reverend Wilkerson's place at Time Square Church in New York City, Carter Conlon, gave a message to his church this past week end and in the message he talked about how TSC needed a time for private grief and reflection on the life of Pastor Wilkerson. You can hear that message HERE.
He also spoke about the fact that their church was planning a memorial for Pastor Wilkerson and that there would be people coming from all over the world to attend! I repeat: people will be attending his memorial from all over the world. I thought it was just me thinking that if there was any way I could be at his memorial...I would be.
UPDATE: Here is the Times Square Church schedule for the Memorial Service:
Memorial Services for David Wilkerson in New York
April 29, 2011
The details for the official memorial service for Pastor David Wilkerson have been finalized as follows. All are welcome to attend the service.
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011
(Doors will open at 12:00PM)
Location: Times Square Church
237 West 51st street
(between Broadway & Eighth Avenue)
Manhattan, New York City
Seating & Overflow
Seating will be on a first come first served basis. There will be overflow locations. Once the full capacity has been reached at the Times Square Church sanctuary and Education Annex, ushers will direct attendees to the various overflow locations nearby.
The service will be streamed live all over the world on the Times Square Church website starting at 2:00PM EST.
Simultaneous translation will be available in the following languages:
Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
The simultaneous translation will be available via conference call lines accessible by land and cellular phones. The conference call phone number and access codes for each language ;will be posted on the live events page of this website during the webcast.
Closest friends, denominational leaders and dignitaries requesting courtesy access, are asked to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying your request. Please make sure to include your full name, title, church, ministry or organization’s name, address and telephone number.
Please note that seating is very limited and while we will try to accommodate your request, we may be unable to do so.
David Wilkerson left behind a true legacy to those of us fortunate enough to have become familiar with him and the message he rendered. His message was a message of love, mercy, forgiveness and grace to all people, espcially those that this world does not love; i.e., the poor, under privileged, the drunkards, the drug addicts, the prostitutes, the murderers, the thiefs, adulterers, the pedofiles, the rapists, the homosexuals, and idolators. It didn't matter, anyone who had gotten off the path that Christ called them to walk - anyone who had been deceived by the deception of satan, the lust of their eyes, their flesh or their pride - he wanted to love them back onto the path, headed back in the direction of the Savior.
It's hard to reconcile the message of love that David Wilkerson taught to the message we received the past couple of days about the death of Osama Bin Laden. I realize that this man's legacy was completely different than the one David Wilkerson left behind.
Osama Bin Laden left behind a legacy of terror, pain, hate, and deception. He was well know for hating the people of the land of Israel, the Jews and and the people who supported them (the U.S.) and yet how different are those who waved banners, shouted USA and celebrated at the news of his death? Were they not, too, supporting that legacy of hate, fear, pain and unforgiveness?
Please hear me, I feel for those people who lost loved ones in the terror attacks plotted, planned and carried out by Osama Bin Laden. I cried with them on the days their lost their loved ones. I am glad that he can no longer promote his agenda of terror and hatred. However, then, I think about Jesus and how he suffered as a result of the legacy of terror and hatred that others were practicing in His day. Yes, He was God, but He was also fully a man, and because of the love and forgiveness He practiced, He left behind a legacy that affected mankind forever and brought about men like David Wilkerson.
What kind of legacy are you leaving? Are you promoting love, kindness, mercy, forgiveness, service to others and reconciling lives to God or are you leaving behind a legacy of selfishness, hatred and separation from God?
I know which one I choose.
Father God, Thank You. Thank you for your legacy of love, forgiveness and being brought into your family through the sacrifice of Jesus. Thank you for men and women like David Wilkerson who are teaching your message and leaving behind legacies of service to you. I pray in the name of Jesus that your holy spirit will minister love to all people everywhere in the world. Inspire your people to stand up, reach out and lead others to you. May the deeds of darkness be stopped cold today by the love of those who follow you and are obedient to your leading. Lord, may we love the people of the world like you did. Fill us with your love today and a desire that all should know what it's like to be forgiven, loved and accepted and given a new beginning and a second chance at living life under the umbrella of your love and care.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it's hard to accept someone who has done horrible things but how can they ever know the love of God if we don't? It is hard to trust those who have done evil things. We must use caution and the discernment of God. God has a plan for everyone, and David Wilkerson was the person that He used for the salvation of many. Pray for people you hear of who have hurt others. There is no other chance for mankind than for all to come to know Christ, to repent of their deeds and then to live in love and ministering the message of Christ to the world.