LEGACY OF LOVE, A BEAUTIFUL INHERITANCE OF JUSTICE AND PHILANTHROPY
Feeling weepy today… as I reflect on the legacy that I want to leave for my children and future generations and the dreams I have in my heart for them.
I want to be able to tell my children someday that this is our legacy for you: your parents fought for social justice and with the love of God, they did their best in loving orphans and helping them to be parented and empowered through healthy communities and social enterprises. Your parents lent their energy and voice in fighting for the ending of sex trafficking; in helping restore trafficking victims & providing support for safe homes for their rehabilitation, and in bringing healing and restoration to hurting at-risk children, broken lives & the desperately poor. This is what’s burning in my heart. I hope that it burns in my childrens’ hearts as well someday.
I want to carry on my 4th generation blessings of social justice work and extraordinary compassion. My great-grandparents on my mother’s side opened their home and hearts to love and feed the poor who would trek from all over to be nourished by free meals; they also gave whatever they could. They gave away coats, money and even gave the long johns they were wearing to those begging in the winter – so moved were they with great compassion for the suffering.
My great-grandfather was a radical, influential regional leader (for his entire career till he retired and ran an huge fruit orchard) and had a deep passion for justice. You could say that he pioneered governmental social services in his region out of his large home estate. My mother had a privileged upbringing (was the first family in her town to have a T.V. set when she was a child among other material things), but grew up watching her grandparents give the shirts off their backs to street beggars. She was definitely shaped by her unusually loving grandmother; my mom is also incredibly compassionate… she has for more than 30 years helped low-income families in a myriad of loving and kind ways and cooked for the terminally ill at her church.
What qualities do I want my kids to model after their parents? I hope it’s what I’ve seen modeled in my great-grandparents and parents: deep faith, compassion, integrity, selfless service, noble living, wisdom & discernment, thoughtfulness and a deep commitment to friends and family.
What else is there besides deeply satisfying and nurturing relationships? Nothing. No work, no call of duty, not even material things can replace the special friends and family in our lives.