Yesterday, our church and wider community gathered to celebrate the life of Chris Bryan. There was laughter and there were tears as we remembered her with great fondness and love.
In my comments, I recalled our last conversation in which I got to look Chris in the eye and tell her that she was a difference-maker. Throughout her lifetime she has made a difference in our church and community, understanding that what is good for the whole community was worth showing up for and supporting. This understanding is what prompted her to offer her gifts, leadership, and time to the many organizations she was part of. But Chris wasn’t only a difference-maker on a community wide level; her impact was also personal. In recent days I have heard so many people talk about the warmth and kindness with which Chris encountered them.
Every time I would experience Chris’s actions of service, kindness, and generosity, I would take time thank her personally, and each time I would say those words to her she would say the same thing to me: “I’ve been blessed.” Chris had a faith-filled understanding that from what we have been blessed with we are called to bless others - an idea we encounter right at the beginning of the Bible (Genesis 12:2)
All of us have been blessed in this life, right?
So, let me ask you: How might your life be a blessing to others today?
How might we all be difference-makers in our community and world?
(A sign about Chris and her family that hangs at Baptist Nassau, one of the many organizations to which she gave her time and talents.)