I find as I get older I think more about legacy. As a parent, and as a pastor’s wife, what will my legacy be? After I am gone, what will people remember about me?
I have been a part of more than one church where there were candy people. You may have had them in your church too. These are people who show love by giving candy away.
My first experience with a candy person was with Mr. Alex. I don’t remember much about him except for the fact that he used to pass out candy to the children at church. My husband and I were young and newly married at the time, and I am sure we were kids in his eyes because he would reach in his pocket and give us candy on Sundays, just as he did the children. Mr. Alex was such a sweet, godly man, and I still remember him as the candy man.
Years later, when our children were small, another candy man came to our church. Mr. John taught my daughter’s preschool Sunday school class. He always had Skittles in his pocket. At my daughter’s wedding reception, he gave her a hug and placed a snack-sized bag of Skittles in her hand. I cherish the photo of that moment.
Ms. Martha makes it her ministry to provide our family with candy. My husband likes hard candy, and I like dark chocolate. On the fourth Sunday of each month, I find a bag of hard candy and a bag of dark chocolate kisses on the pew where I sit. This is how she shows her love for her pastor and his family. One particular Sunday afternoon, as we were leaving for a mission trip, there was Ms. Martha—bags of candy in hand for us to take with us—both for those going to serve and for the children we would teach in Vacation Bible School and backyard Bible club. It was her way of being a part of the mission effort.
Our legacies will not be in stained-glass windows or chandeliers or new buildings. We will be remembered for the investments we make in people’s lives. I hope I will be remembered for the lives God gave me the privilege (and responsibility) to invest in. These include my children and their spouses, my grandchildren, and the children I teach at church. There is also my “work daughters”—young women whose mothers live out of state that I had the opportunity to mentor in the workplace. What will your legacy be?
Maleah Bell is a freelance editor and pastor’s wife. She and her husband make their home in Middle Tennessee.