I love this picture. I took it in Cornwall, England at the western most point of England called Land’s End.
My father’s family is from Cornwall and so this part of England is special to my family. My grandfather was born and raised in a little village east of here called Stithians, so I grew up hearing about the Aunts and Uncles and cousins in Cornwall. My grandfather came from a family of seven children! We often made wire recordings to send to these extended family members. My father would play the organ or just share our family news. Once I even played the piano for my Cornish cousins on the wire recorder. Sometime when I was in college, my parents made their first trip to England and met the Aunts and Uncles and cousins we had been writing to all those years. The British cousins took my parents on the grand tour of Cornwall and I heard about the visit to Land’s End.
It wasn’t until I was standing in Land’s End looking at this craggy set of rocks that it all sank in. You see, I recognized these rocks, and I suddenly remembered my parents had a painting of these rocks in their living room. Turns out, my dad had taken this same photo and had asked a painter to turn it into a painting for their home. It reminded him of his heritage and the blessing of his extended family.
Standing there in my father’s footprints, taking the same picture, I was aware of how important are the big footprints we stand in often without realizing. People come and go in our lives, but they leave their fingerprints on us, hopefully for the better. We stand in big footprints in the church. The saints who went before us have left us a legacy of faith and faithfulness to God’s purposes. This is not just the legacy left to us by the Presbyterians in Elkhart, but countless faithful saints who passed the good news about Jesus from one generation to another until it came to us. I take that legacy seriously. We have big work to do to pass on the hope we have in God to the next generation.
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