Today I will be attending a funeral. The funeral is for Betty Whitteberry, an amazing woman of faith who I have known most of my life. She was a strong woman who was not afraid to say what was on her mind. She was a godly woman who wanted others to know her Savior as well. She and her husband, Rev. David Whitteberry have impacted my life in ways they will never fully know. Partially because they have had such a profound impact on my parent's life and the life of my grandparents as well. I have many times heard my Dad speak of Rev. Whitteberry and how much Dad has learned from him over the years. My Mom loved Betty and my Grandma refers to Betty as someone akin to a sister in her life. These three people have been some of the biggest influences on my spiritual life and some of their biggest influences were the Whitteberrys. So you can see, that though I have had the privilege of knowing both Rev. and Mrs. Whitteberry personally, their impact on my life far surpasses the time I have had with them. Though Betty is now with our loving Savior, her influence can still be seen in all who knew her.
Influence is like that. We have an impact on those around us, but it can go much farther than we realize. Those who impact us, impact those we are in contact with as well. And that leaves a lasting impression on far more people than we realize.
It makes me wonder what kind of impact I am leaving on those around me? What kind of impact are you leaving? The memory verse we are learning is Children's Church is James 2:17 "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." If our faith in Christ isn't being lived out in our lives through our actions, we are not leaving the kind of impression we should be.
Ms. Betty left a legacy of faith being lived out through her actions that will last far longer than her earthly life. I hope someday the same can be said of me.