When my children were small, and my marriage new, building a legacy was important to me.
I began the building a little at a time. My mother bequeathed to me her wedding silver utensils and I started collecting china and crystal pieces. I hoped to pass these down to my children one day. There is something about touching things that had been touched by generations going before us.
I would set the table with these treasures for holiday dinners, particularly Thanksgiving, Easter and Christmas. One Christmas, I set out my valued crystal teardrop goblets. My children, around ages 6 and 8, were not allowed to touch them. My husband was barely allowed to touch them. I’d pour the sparkling cider and watch carefully as we drank our toasts.
Our friend, my childrens’ godfather, would come for dinner the week before Christmas for a fun evening together. After dinner, we opened gifts and sat around in the living room to enjoy the fire and tell stories.
One year, as we sat around the fire, I noticed it needed fuel. I reached for a small log, and—you guessed it! The log slipped out of my fingers and crashed right on top of my beautiful, valuable crystal goblet and smashed it to smithereens!
A Moment of Awe
Mouths agape, all of us stared at the diamond shaped glass pieces shattered all over the hearth. I did not know crystal would disintegrate so thoroughly.
Suddenly, as I could feel the mourn rise inside me—a cheer and clapping erupted all around behind me.
I was astonished!
How could they?
Someone, I think it was my husband, said, “I sure am glad that you did that and NOT me!” Everybody echoed his sentiments and nodded their heads.
No one moved to help me with clean up. However, they watched me with caution. I think—I hope—that I modeled calm, efficient acceptance. But I don’t think I’ll ask any of them. Even after decades, I believe I can still hear stifled guffaws.
I wonder if God chuckles at our foibles? Certainly, my heart must have been in the right place as I strove to build a family legacy. But perhaps the lesson is that legacy is more than crystal goblets or the stuff in our houses.
Christmas is when we remember Jesus, our Savior. He left His Father and home in heaven to come to earth. His purpose was to die on a cross to put PAID IN FULL to the sin claiming our lives. When He rose from the dead, He freed us to spend eternity with Him in heaven.
This is the legacy worth passing on to the generations that come after us.
It will never shatter.