2 Corinthians 4:11-12
Abraham Lincoln was like a saint in our house in Anchorage, Kentucky. He was my father’s hero, whose study resembled a Lincoln museum, filled with countless books on the Civil War and Lincoln’s speeches and writings. The room featured a broadside of the Gettysburg Address, copper busts and portraits, and a painting of Appomattox Courthouse. Lincoln was born in a one room cabin in Kentucky and my father, the son of an Appalachian coal miner, must have felt a connection.
Dad later became a football coach, teacher, and founder of a vocational education program that trained thousands of students. They both used education to pull themselves out of poverty. They both spent their lives dedicated to doing right, pursuing God’s work, and seeking justice.
Dad has been gone for eight years now, but I still think of him reading the Bible. He attended the same Sunday school class for 50 years and, when it was his turn to teach the class, he buried himself in that study, next to all of those Lincolns, for hours.
Sure, Lincoln was a great man and died what I consider a martyr’s death. My dad was a smaller man, living a full life in his part of the world and making a big difference for a smaller group than Lincoln. Both were inspired by Jesus, his death at work in them.
Maybe we can’t all be like Abraham Lincoln, or even my dad. But we can strive to spend more days living like Jesus, letting Jesus be alive in us. Maybe we can just practice that today, moment by moment.
Who inspires you to live a better life, making a difference even on the smallest scale?
God, show us how to let Jesus be alive in us. Amen.