After his death, my mom and I packed up his sermons in a file cabinet (which was later transferred into filing boxes). Those sermons have sat essentially untouched until today. I am only halfway through the first of eight boxes, and am already blessed, amazed and drained.
My dad left a legacy packed up in these boxes.
I was most moved while reading through stories of answered prayer that many had sent in after my dad taught on prayer. One story told about a woman driving a church float in her town’s parade when she accidentally ran over a small boy with the three-ton float trailer. The woman was absolutely devastated but told the story about how so many rallied around this little boy in prayer. She also told how prior to this accident the boy’s family was nearly at self-destruction and there were very large problems in his family and church. After this accident, the family and church rallied together to pray for the boy. He walked away from the hospital in a few days with little more than scrapes and bruises. The doctors were amazed, and the family and church were reconciled. The woman who ran over the boy was also comforted. It is difficult for me to really relay the depth of this story in a short paragraph.
As I rifled through all of these sermons and files, I was struck by the intense care and love my dad had for people. I mentioned on my facebook account what I was doing earlier today, and I received numerous comments about people remembering my dad. Although in these sermons, he taught, informed and exegeted, in life he loved and cared for those in his care. He always sought to develop real relationships with people and see them grow in their faith. I pray I am able to live a similar life and follow in the footsteps of the legacy left in front of me.
Although this blog is a bit more personal in nature, it perhaps has applicability. What is our legacy? What really matters? If these were only sermons full of knowledge and information, they would most definitely be interesting. But the fact that so many changed lives are evidenced makes them all the more valuable and meaningful. I thank God for the life of Ed Towne, and admire and respect the ministry that he accomplished and the relationships he fostered in his short life.