Central Baptist Church

16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI 02891


Pastor Cal’s

Weekly Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Westerly Sun

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
you want to be added to
the weekly list.

Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle

Leave The Fragrance of Love Wherever You Go

                                                                                         September 1, 2021
Dear Friends,

I carried the half and half up from the church kitchen. I wanted it for my coffee. Nearly two years ago we brought in a Keurig coffee maker. It belonged to my administrative assistant. She donated it so we could make individual cups of coffee during the day. It was so much more efficient than making a whole pot. Now it sits in the kitchenette right across from my office

I put the creamer in the mini-fridge and it was good to go. Three hours later I was walking down the hall toward the sanctuary. I noticed some small, dime sized, splotches on the floor. Doing my best Jessica Fletcher impersonation, I began to investigate. I followed the trail down the corridor and it veered into the stairwell. At this point I began to think someone must have spilled something.

“Why didn’t they clean it up?” I wondered. I tried to remember who had been in the building that morning. I was getting ready to point the finger at someone else. That’s when I realized that it was my mess. I was to blame. The creamer I had carried upstairs must have had a small hole in the packaging. It left a trail that highlighted where I had been that morning.

That’s when a thought hit me: Whether people actually see it or not, we all leave a trail behind us wherever we go. Like the wake from a boat, our presence can be felt by those we encounter each day. We make ripples in the world around us. Each day we meet people. We rarely think about the effect we are having because we are so consumed in what we are doing.

I like the fable about the man with a leaky bucket. Every day he went to the river to get water. The water seeped out along the path through a small hole in his bucket. The bucket felt bad. It apologized to the man. The man said, “Don’t apologize.” He pointed to the lovely flowers along the path and said, “I knew you had a small hole so I planted flowers along the path. Every day when we came by, they were watered and grew beautiful in your wake.”

I have been present at a lot of funerals this summer. I’ve heard time and again about the impact that a person makes on others when they have lived life well. Maya Angelou captured this when she said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

The apostle Paul calls us to live that way. He says in Ephesians 5, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Like the smell of freshly baked apple pie, an ocean breeze, or your grandmother’s favorite perfume, you will be known by the way your life touches others.

We all leave something behind. Choose to make your legacy one that brings out the best in others. Share the love of God in all you do.

God bless! See you in church. Cal