Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Leaving a legacy behind by Joy Lenton

A glimpse into the past was all it took to make me think about the future.

Here lie standing stones reminiscent of those Joshua and the children of Israel left as a memorial of gratitude for their safe passage across the River Jordan. 

My imagination took flight as I pondered about the people who'd inhabited this space centuries beforehand, those who had tilled hard earth, planted trees, erected buildings, worked and worshipped here.

Just going about their daily lives, probably blissfully unaware what would remain behind.

Death has a way of pervading the everyday. It hangs around like a ghostly sceptre hovering just out of reach.

We usually dismiss it as morbid shadow with little shape or substance, shrug our shoulders and return to our preoccupations here. 

When it does arrive it brings us up short, shocks our senses somehow, whether it's the demise of a loved one or that of a 'national treasure' celebrity such as Cilla Black.

Or closer to home for ACW members recently, the sad passing of beloved founder member, Marion Stroud, an esteemed author, writer, speaker and encourager of others honing their art. I'll always remember her lovely supportive comments on the blog when I began my own public writing journey.

Such events can make us question the type of legacy we might like to leave behind with our apparently insignificant lives. 

How do we leave our footprints in the sands of time before the floating tide of public opinion washes them away?

Maybe it's not so hard as we imagine.

Yes, our family and friends carry fond remembrances and traces of us in their hearts.

But beyond this we have scope as writers to influence generations to come. 

Because words are not easily erased (sadly, some may say); they exist in the minds and hearts of those who read and receive them. 

If we write anything in a public sphere, never mind publish books, it can leave a mark in the minds of others and outlast beyond ourselves.

Blogging, books, article writing, poetry, prayers and prose all play their part in reaching people's hearts. Social media has also given us a window to the world for better or worse.

As believers we have no clear idea who we influence by the words we share, verbal or otherwise, but we can be sure that God will take our seemingly meagre offerings and multiply them as manna for others to feed upon.

I've been amazed and surprised to hear positively from people I had no idea were following my blog or had read anything I shared. 

Yet some have been blessed and encouraged by my words, and occasionally God has kindly chosen to let me know about it!

And while it's encouraging to gain some feedback in the here and now, I'm sure there are more people affected by the things we write than we will ever know. 

it may not feel like a matter of life and death when we sit to pen our words, but we can aim to speak life and faith to those who will receive them.

This is a positive legacy we can all aim to leave behind and one that may extend beyond the boundaries of time itself.

May it spur us on to seek after God's heart, allow Holy Spirit to inspire us to write the best we can, offer hope, inspiration, support and encouragement to a waiting world and to one another.

Joy is a grateful grace-dweller who weaves words out of the fabric of her days, penning poetry and prose in her PJs as she seeks the poetic in the prosaic and the eternal in the temporal.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer (who is also recovering from a painful past) she writes with a heart for the hurting and to support and encourage others who are struggling with life and faith issues.

You can connect with her on Twitter and Google Plus and find her writing her heart out at 'Poetry Joy' and 'Words of Joy'.


  1. This lovely blog post reminds me of the words of a Steve Green song - I wonder if you know it, Joy?
    "May all who come behind us find us faithful;
    May the fire of our devotion light their way.
    May the footprints that we leave
    Lead them to believe,
    And the lives we live inspire them to obey.
    Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful."

    1. This song is unknown to me, Ros, but I love the lyrics. Oh to be found faithful, yes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Are you sure you meant a 'ghostly sceptre'? Or was it a 'ghostly spectre'?

    1. Erm.. the latter, actually. Well spotted, oh eagle eyed one! Oops, it's a typo. I hold my hands up and confess I missed it, Veronica. My M.E-tired eyes didn't catch it despite my usual vigilance with editing. Sorry! :)

    2. I must be tired after a long day's work because I read what it should be not what it actually said... :-)

    3. Our eyes and brains are so good at compensating and making us think we've read the right word, aren't they Lynda? Tiredness causes me to make mistakes too! :) x

  3. Fabulous post and such a reminder that we are God's witnesses to the world. Just what I needed to hear at the moment.

    1. Thanks, Wendy! I'm so pleased this post has spoken to you.

  4. Love this post. Love the idea of leaving a legacy withy words. Thanks Joy. :-)

    1. With I'm doing typos!

    2. With I'm doing typos!

    3. Ha ha.. all too easy to do sometimes! Thanks for leaving a sweet comment. :)

  5. Love this post. Love the idea of leaving a legacy withy words. Thanks Joy. :-)