On April 19, 2012, I turned sixty-two. Time really flies by as you get older. I really don’t like a lot of attention, especially birthday parties. My daughter had been building me up about her getting me the greatest birthday present of all time. Over the weeks leading up to the big day she would ask me what I wanted. I have more clothes than I can wear. I didn’t need anymore toys or tools. I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted or needed. The 19th came. To me, it was just another day. Amy called and wanted us to come over at six. I was beginning to wonder what she had for me. You know how it goes, people get so excited about giving you something. Everybody has gotten that gift that you have to put on the fake smile for.
When we arrived, she wanted us to go upstairs to the playroom. Nobody except family was there so I was relieved, no surprise party. She asked me to sit down and close my eyes. I was handed a package. When I opened my eyes, I had two large manila envelopes containing many letters. I had letters from friends, coworkers, family, and neighbors I had known over my life. She had gotten in contact with each one asking them to write something about me.
As I began to read the letters, tears began to flow. It was so touching to read each one and relive the memories. Some were funny, like my friend who wrote about an episode that happened at Parris Island when we were in boot camp. One was from my nephew with whom I had worked with doing construction. It’s amazing some of the things we’ve forgotten over the years that others remembered.
I had almost sixty two letters, which was my daughter’s goal. Amy told me my legacy was that I was known as a man of prayer, and I loved God’s word. You will never know how humbling that was. I was truly blessed beyond any material gift that I could have recieved.
As I have read and reread each letter I give thanks to the Lord for every person He has allowed me to know over my life. It makes me want to be a better example and represent Jesus every day to the best of my ability. I have heard it said, “Our life may be the only Bible that some people ever read.” As followers of Jesus I would like to exhort everyone to live your life like an open book that everyone is going to read. Let’s make it a best seller for His Glory.
Image credit: Ricky