Footprints on the Heart
It is not the what that is important but the who.
I feel like I spent my life around a firehouse all my life, at least since I was two years old. I may not remember everything about every time that I was there, but I remember how my uncles made me feel. They spent time with me and I cannot for the life remember what we did, except the feeling around Christmas and the summer picnics. But the uncles made sure that they spent time with the children and made our time special.
The other day I noticed some children who were being lifted up by their parents so that they could see the fire engine through the windows. I pulled the engine out of the bay. I showed the boys around the engine and turned on the lights. The boys were so happy. When I got home I saw a large toy fire truck that I was going to get rid of. I brought it down to the station to give to the boys. After a few days, the family came back and I asked the parents if I could give it to the boys. The parents agreed and then it all happened. Their faces lit up with smiles and their eyes were so wide open. One of the boys stopped whatever he wanted to do and got down on his knees and starting playing with the toy right on the driveway. The family will never remember who I am. They may not remember what town but they may remember the feeling that they had while they were with me for a short time.
When we spend time with the children, they may not remember us but they may remember the feeling. Kids may remember that firemen make them happy. They may remember the care that a police officer had for them. The lollipop that he would always get from the doctor for a great check up.
People will remember the time that you spent with them. You may have listened to someone who was having a really bad day. You may have helped the little old lady down the street, bring in her trash cans. The veteran who may be in the veterans’ home may not remember your name but they know that they like you.
I remember my mentors in life and how I was appreciative for their time and their constant words of encouragement and caring they had for me. I remember how some teachers were caring and became friends of my family. I remember my friend in Georgia who always made time for me and my daughter. I cannot remember everything that we did but I can remember how they made me feel.
People may not always be with us but the impression that they leave on our life will always be there, be it positive or negative.
There is a saying that I heard, I forget where it comes from, we are blessed to see everyone. Some people bless us when they come into the room and others bless us when they leave the room. What kind of impression are you leaving?
Are we the type of people that leave footprints on someone’s heart and they always want to have those footprints?
When I teach new chaplains, a question that is always asked of them is “how do you know that you have made a difference with the person that you were with?” The answer is that we never know what type of impression we have on anyone’s life.
The conversation and time that we spend with people are the seeds that we are planting. We may never see the harvest of those seeds but we are not supposed to.