I introduced Kris to one of my kids today like this: "This is Mr. E___. He was in youth group when your Daddy and I worked with the youth, and see how good he turned out?"
You know, there are people in this world that God gives you access to for short little blips; and you just never forget them. Kris is one of those people. In fact, his entire family is very dear to my heart. His brothers and parents have shared in significant moments in my life that none of us will ever forget.
I don't know why, but I've always sort of cheered for Kris from the sidelines. When we were in our 20s, Kris was a teenager. One memory I have in particular is when we went on a trip in the summer with the church youth group. Kris went, too. I remember that he was trying to sort things out in his head; chiefly, his understanding of this guy, God. And oh my goodness, it was so long ago, and in many ways, I was such a different person then, but I did my best to encourage him, counsel him, give him little (I mean tiny, ha ha) nuggets of my "God" wisdom. He was a tender-hearted kid; a sweet kid; an authentic kid.
And that's exactly the man he has grown up to be.
We often wonder how we influence the lives of those we come into contact with. Can I really make a difference? Will I leave some sort of lasting impression? I know I am just one little influence that played out in Kris' life, but I like to think, to hope, that somewhere in his soul, there are traces of me.
I know in my soul, there are traces of him.