Humble lives leave lasting legacy
January 20, 2012
A new year brings with it the desire to evaluate. Where have we been? Where are we heading? What shall we do with today to help make a kinder, more peaceful tomorrow for those who will succeed us? I greatly appreciate the annual remembrance and tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His desire to create a better tomorrow led him beyond the pulpit he served to the people he loved and his witness ultimately cost him his life. Like those before him he knew that his life was but one piece of a much larger puzzle and his mission was to do the best he could with his piece, leaving the larger picture to God.
The Prophet Micah said it best, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 RSV)
This week we have been reminded of another soul who did his best to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly among us. Chuck Wayne was, to us all, a gentleman who was truly a “gentle man.” He defined “humble” in a way that was always gentle in touch and kind in words. I never knew his politics because it was never an issue, and in that alone I found a wonderful breath of fresh air every time I encountered “Mr. Wayne.” Chuck and Karen created a very special space in their lives for anyone who cared to enter. And enter we did. It was easy to be with them. A little music, a little talk, Chuck would tune your piano, move your piano or simply play you a concert on your piano all with the ease and grace of an old friend.
His life reminds me of the songs we know as the psalms. Psalm 34 begins; “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:1-3 RSV) I know that is just what happened at Chuck’s memorial. Karen requested friends bring their instruments to help make once more that joyful noise unto the Lord that Chuck loved so much.
Chuck would be embarrassed to hear just how much he affected our lives. His humility and grace will live in our hearts for as long as we draw breath. It is interesting how we tend to look to the past to find our heroes. Dr. King was a unique figure in our history and his legacy will continue to help shape our society. As we enter this new year and seek our way together. Where have we been? Where are we heading? What shall we do with today to help make a kinder, more peaceful tomorrow for those who will succeed us? I invite us to look closer at those who are nearest to our everyday lives. Look to the Chuck Waynes among us and remember. Their legacy is our future.