A Link in Life

C. L. Sherman M.D., 56 Years of Dedicated Service to the Community 1904 to 1960,” read the caption beneath the picture. It was the first photograph in a row of images on a basement wall of the hospital in Luverne, Minnesota, of those who had served as president of the hospital.

My mother-in-law was hospitalized in a room one floor above the row of images. Stretching my legs after spending time bedside with her I found myself pondering the row of presidents. One after the other, each took a turn leading the hospital as it sought to meet the medical needs of the rural Minnesota community for over the past hundred years.

Each of us could have our own image framed in such a row of images with those who came before us and those who are coming after us. In fact, each of us could be featured in a number of such galleries, a gallery of family, a gallery of employees, a gallery of church members, a gallery of the neighborhood and other galleries, too! We are the generation that came after the previous generations, and we are the generation that other generations will follow. We take over a responsibility from someone else and someone else takes it over from us.

We are but one link in a chain of links. No link is all important and no link is unimportant, this dual truth giving us both a good dose of humility and responsibility, helping to guarantee that we do our part when our time comes, which is now!

The question is, what do we pass on? The Bible talks about the passing of both curses and blessings down through the generations. Even on a daily basis we can choose to pass on gossip or praise, revenge or forgiveness. We’re always leaving a legacy of one kind or another, whether it’s long term for the generations to come or short term for someone at the end of the day.

Part of a prayer of King David: “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)

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