Lasting Legacy

photo by Alyse Farris Nelson

One moss covered section is all that remains of the long wooden fence that once stood as a proud boundary line. 

Our neighbor affectionately said we had a perfect country fence—it marked out our property, but it was also a nice place to lean while talking to each other.

Mom built the fence while I was in college. When we moved here, the fence had weathered over fifteen rainy seasons. 

Our five-year-old son loved climbing its cross pieces and viewing the world from its heights. 

The rainy seasons eventually won, and part of the fence fell over in a wind storm. 

The cedar panel replacement left no footholds for climbing—the season for a little boy climbing fences was over too. 

This week I walked over to the last section of old fence. It has stood for nearly forty years. 

Kind of a legacy to my mom’s efforts. But a fence isn’t her real legacy—sharing her love of reading was.

As a small child, Mom sat me on her lap and read to me. 

As I got older, she showed me that great books could take me on adventures I’d never imagine. 

Mom left behind shelves full of books, but her legacy was the time she spent reading them to those she loved—like her granddaughter.

photo Jon Tyson

The long, cold, dark, wet month of January gives me time to ponder old fences and the legacies of those who’ve gone on before me. 

Some of what we put our time into doesn’t last—like a fence that eventually falls down. 

Pastors often remind us that the best place to invest our time is in people—because people are the only things that last eternally. In a time of such divisiveness, be a contrarian and love despite the division.

Love makes a lasting legacy—and it’s a great way to be remembered.

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:11

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