No One Is ‘Anonymous’ To The Lord!


LOS ANGELES :”…the violet-eyed film goddess whose sultry screen persona, stormy personal life and enduring fame and glamour made her one of the last of the old-fashioned movie stars and a template for the modern celebrity, died Wednesday at age 79.(Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011. By David Germain, Associated Press).

I never met the above actress. I really don’t much about her, except what I have read in magazines. But from reports I read, she seemed to have lived a life that was full of turmoil. I make no judgment as to the “type” of person she was, or is, but her death again brought to my mind the legacy that one leaves behind. For some it is a catchy song, or perhaps insightful poetry. For others it is a character they have played on stage while still others will be remembered for changing the political landscape. For some it will be athletic feats, but most will die anonymously. Every once in a while I catch myself thinking that I will found among the large group who die “anonymously”, after all, my life story will not be read about in the history books of man. Indeed, the last few lines of the poem, “My Native Land”, by Sir Walter Scott come to mind:

And, doubly dying, shall go down

To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,

Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.

A few years ago I was shaving to get ready for work, I noticed a small card that was sitting on the bathroom counter top. On the outside are embossed the words “Thank You.’ It was a card that had been lying there for several weeks. It is a card from a young woman in my church who was married that summer. As is customary, she was thanking me and my wife for our wedding gift. I have known this young woman since she was a child. I had hurriedly read the note weeks before and discarded it on the counter top. I opened it and reread the note that morning. In part she wrote:

“It meant a lot to have you at the reception as your legacy of love has greatly impacted me as I’ve grown up. It was genuine love and support from church leaders like you that strengthened my commitment to be married in the temple.”

Many years ago I held a conversation with a member of my church. Somehow the conversation got on the subject of the impact of our lives on humanity. I somehow implied that I had not accomplished much with my life. He genuinely seemed shocked that I could say such a thing. He actually scolded me for thinking such. He reminded me of the important role I was playing in serving others through the church. He was right! Somehow I had mixed up the “honors of men” with doing the honorable work of the Lord.

When  the great screen legend Elizabeth Taylor died, her life story dominated the news. Her life was presented before us as a model of the life we should all desire to have. Her movie roles were extolled as “praiseworthy.” If we are not careful, we can find ourselves thinking that our lives are of little value to the world compared to such people of fame. But I was reminded many years ago by that church member that the value of our life is not measured by the honors of man. Our legacy will not be measured by the awards we win, the worldly deeds we have accomplished, or the wealth and power we have accumulated.

The morning I re-read that note from that wonderfully kind new bride,  I was taught anew that my wife and I weren’t anonymous to her, and that the true legacy we need to leave is best gauged by the love we give. More importantly, I was reminded that my wife and I were not anonymous to the Lord. We…are not anonymous to the Lord! 

When this young lady wrote us this note, I’m sure she didn’t think it would mean much. But, I am saving the note and I will re-read it from time to time. It will be a reminder to me that the world’s “anonymous” are not “anonymous” to the Lord.


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