“The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places: yea, I have a goodly heritage.”
Psalm 16: 5, 6, King James Version
EXPLORATION “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle”
Lessons from Sarah’s Legacy
“There is no other closeness in human life like the closeness between a mother and her baby – chronologically, physically, and spiritually they are just a few heartbeats away from being the same person.”
Is there a person in my life who has left an imprint of their legacy on my world and if so, what is that legacy and how has it affected me?
“God could not be everywhere so He created mothers.”
“What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.”
Henry Ward Beecher
My father’s mother died of measles meningitis when he was only 6 months old. Left with a neighbor by his father who never returned to pick him up, my dad grew up feeling unloved and unwanted. When he was seven-years-old he contracted pneumonia, probably due to the fact that his bedroom was an outdoor screened porch. The cold winter days took their toll on my young dad’s health. Finally after being admitted to the small local hospital repeatedly, a dear Christian woman took this orphan boy under her wing of care. Like a mother hen she sheltered him and for the first time in his life, someone helped my dad understand that he had value. And my dad wasn’t the only young person this kind lady opened her heart to. There were always a group of needy kids she looked out for.
On one particular day, “Mom Pohle” as she was called, took the youngsters in her care to sing for a shut-in neighbor who was the very influential wife of the local college president. This woman asked each child to tell her their name, and when she got to my dad he said, “My name is Jimmy Hardin.” The woman’s eyes lit up as she asked, “Aren’t’ you Dot Hardin’s boy?” It was one of the first times my dad had heard anyone speak of his mother.
“Yes,” my dad replied.
And then something happened that was one of those moments when life changes in a dramatic fashion.
This prominent woman, in front of everyone in the room said, “Jimmy, your mother was the most wonderful woman I ever met. She worked for me. She was so kind and sweet. She was happy all the time and loved singing as she worked.”
Many years later my dad confided that on that day, he vowed he would live the rest of his life making his mother proud of him. Even though my father never knew his mother, when he married “Mom Pohle’s” daughter, and they had their first child, they named her Dorothy (yes, it is I!) after a grandmother I never knew but whose sweet, kind Christ-like legacy I pray daily I will never let flicker out in my life.
Several years ago, my husband, Jim, took me to Arlington, Arizona where there is a tiny white frame church and behind it a cemetery where I found the grave of my grandmother, Dorothy Irene Hardin. A dear woman taken way too early but whose legacy still lives on today.
When my dad died over 20 years ago, I asked for only one thing -- my grandma’s old worn Scofield Bible. Someone found this Bible and gave it to my father. And now when I come to Transformation Garden and share the Scripture with you, the legacy of Dot Hardin lives on as I read God’s word from the same Bible my grandma held in her hands.
Webster’s dictionary calls a “legacy” a gift bequeathed by a will, something handed down from an ancestor.
In the lives of Abraham and Sarah, the promised son received the inheritance – the family property and wealth. So often in a world driven by the power associated with material possessions, we think in terms of what one “wills” to future generations as gold and silver, houses and lands.
But of immeasurable importance is the “legacy” of love we leave that plants seeds in the hearts of those we call family.
If we look at the qualities exhibited in the life of Isaac we find him giving unyielding obedience to his father on Mount Moriah; we find him giving honor and love to his mother; and when he finally met his bride Rebekah, he was, as the Bible tells us, out in the field praying.
While we recognize that Sarah made more than her share of mistakes along the way, the legacy of love she planted in the heart of her son Isaac lived as a beacon of light. For even at a time when polygamy, incest and adultery ran rampant, Isaac was faithful to his one wife Rebekah and found her to be a “comfort” after the death of the mother he loved and admired.
Virginia Satir wrote, “Parents teach in the toughest school in the world – The School of Making People. You are the board of education, the principal, the classroom teacher, and the janitor.”
The legacy of Sarah is a “will” filled with the love of a mother for a child. A legacy that like Dot Hardin’s, lives on for generations, even in the lives of those we have never met.
“The most important things we can give our kids are our time, our lives, and our values – and values are caught more than they are taught.”
“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.”
Isaiah 66: 13, King James Version
“Thank you, God,
that you are tender as a mother,
as well as strong as a father.
You give us life,
And care for us.
Like a mother who will not forsake her children.
we pray for our mothers today,
putting them into your hands
for time and for eternity;
and we ask your blessing on all our relationships
in the families of our homes,
and our communities.”
Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.