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Thursday, September 22, 2011

he changed the world

i have on/off struggled with the question of whether or not our family going to africa to serve and love on precious little ones there will really make a difference.  i mean, yes, it will impact those kids.  no doubt there.  but will we really be doing anything to change the world?  and a friend of mine entered into this discussion as she wondered about short term trips and whether they would really have a real impact.  and as we spoke the words began to flow and i know the Holy Spirit was speaking to both of us through those words.

you see i know a man.  he's been quoted on facebook more times then i think i can count.  his impact reached farther then i think most people, himself included, realize.  but you see he knows how far it goes now.  now he's with God and God is showing him.  showing him he changed the world.

he wasn't a president, an athlete or a rock star with a bleeding heart.  he wasn't a missionary in a far off country or a major prophet. to my knowledge he never wrote a book or published a song or created a product that revolutionized the modern world.

instead he was a husband, father, grandpa, friend.  and one of the most amazing men i have ever known. he was, on the surface, a rather quiet man.  gentle and warm.  the perfect grandpa ~ which is why i think most of us called him "pop" or "papa".  the kind of guy you just wanted to hug.

"love wins"  he said it.  he believed it.  he embodied it like no one else i have every known.  he liked everyone ~ genuinely.  he was the first one to encourage you.  the one to always encourage you in your dreams.  the one to lovingly put his fatherly arm around you and tell you how amazing you looked ~ even at the end stages of pregnancy when everyone else was questioning twins and bringing up the size of houses.  he always had an encouraging word.  always.  he was the personification of love.  he was gentle.  he was kind.  no record of wrongs. quick to forgive.  he could hug you and make the world melt away, your walls come down and overflow you with love ~ all in a matter of seconds, without even trying {even if you were not a "hugging" person}.  he was a papa and a father to everyone.

and this man changed the world.  how?  what did he do?  he simply was who God created him to be.  he knew his identity and shared it with all of us.  he loved every single person he ever came into contact with.  and that loved changed every single person that it touched. he imparted the love he was so freely given into each of us.  and when you are touched by that kind of love you are never the same.  it creates a ripple in you that drives you toward it's origin ~ straight into the heart of the Father.  and i guarantee that each person touched by this man's love was changed by it.  you can't walk away the same after feeling, seeing and receiving that kind of love.  it changes the world.

and so he did it.  he changed the world by loving the people that are in it.  one person at a time.  he changed me.  he changed our family.  he changed our friends.  and the love he deposited in each of us ripples out and touches another and the ripple grows and the world is changed because he was here.  because he walked this planet.  because he chose love.  love wins.

and so i choose love.  i choose my identity in Christ.  i choose who He says i am.  i choose His way even when i don't know the impact or when i don't feel it or when my circumstances are trying to scream the opposite.  i will love.  as He shows me the way, i will love each person.  and the ripple will grow ... and the world will change.

we love you cliff!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i love to read these thoughts-please don't stop. Your writing captures the realness of life in simple yet deeply profound way. As you have described the inability to fathom how many have been touched by Cliff's life, you may not ever realize until you get to heaven the full impact of your simple words.