August 30, 2012
Like many folks my computer is set to scroll through pictures that are saved in the “picture file”. Most of them are personal family photos. Several years ago I received one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given by my stepmother. She gave me a box of slides (pictures) that had belonged to my dad and I had never seen them before. There were loads of pictures with people that I had not seen in years and some that died way before I was ever born. Those photos are also on my computer. When I came into my office sometime ago there was a picture of my great, great, great (I think) Uncle. His name was Dempsey Shepherd and he was a medical Doctor in a small town in Ohio called Barnesville. My mother’s family was from that area.
I went to Barnesville with my Aunt many years ago for her to show me around the places that she and my mom knew when they were children. We were in a store and I happened to wonder out loud if anyone might recall Dr Dempsey Shepherd. An older man standing nearby overheard my comment and said “Sure everyone knew Doc Shepherd. He delivered most of us!” It was fun to be in a foreign place and hear about someone who died many years before I was born but still had an impact on my life in some distant way.
I now know what writers block is. I wrote the paragraphs above over two weeks ago and just haven’t been able to go anywhere with them. I know what I want to say, I just can’t seem to get my brain in gear to say it. A friend of mine told me once that the only cure to writers block was to… write. Sometimes it will appear that a 3rd grader has written on ones behalf… but, eventually you get through it. C.S. Lewis said that the key to good writing is to know ones subject. That’s why I so often write about my own experiences… those are things that I know. So, without any further ado… here is the conclusion to my rumination.
The truth is none of us exist in a vacuum. What does that mean? Well, it means that we are who we are because of those who came before us, who raised us and because of the circumstances that have occurred in our lives. In the Psych world the argument that went on for years was over “nature vs. nurture” i.e. are we who we are because we were born “that way” or because of the circumstances of life. Well, it seems that the answer to that question is “both.”
So, you are who you are because of the genes inherited from parents, which came from grandparents, which came from… And of course you can’t ignore the circumstances in your life that have caused you to be… you. Bad things, good things, even mundane things have made you the person you are. I wonder are there folks in your life who have had a greater impact for the good than others? Are there people in your past (or present) who have modeled the faith for you in a way that has caused you to see Jesus? I wonder have you ever thanked them? Have you ever told them that you are part of their faith genes? Have you told them that you know Jesus in a life changing, transformative way because of them? I can’t say this for sure but I doubt that anyone would be offended by hearing those words. Few of us object to hearing about the spiritual fruit that we have been a part of growing over the years.
It’s possible that even now the Holy Spirit has placed a person in your life that needs to hear from you today. Why not call them or send them an email or text? It might just make their day, week, month… dare I say life?