My 9th grade science teacher left a legacy of God's grace in my heart, which leads me to echo the Apostle Paul in his expression of gratitude for the believers of Philippi:
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you" (Philippians 1:3).
Mr Middleton was a good educator, and even more, a gracious person. He was also a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, although even in those days, public school teachers were encouraged not to address religious matters. He nevertheless exemplified Christ in his demeanor, attitude, words, and actions. I thus believe he had an effect on my conversion that occurred several months after my high school graduation. Interestingly, our paths crossed again a number of years later when I worked for a bank of which Mr. Middleton was a customer. We reconnected, and this time, we were free to share what was now our mutual faith in the Lord Jesus. I saw him somewhat regularly for several years, until I left the bank. Sadly, I haven't seen him since.
He came to mind last night for the first time in years. I don't recall what triggered the memory, but Mr. Middleton again graced my thoughts with recollections of being his student first, and then his brother in Christ. In both, he exemplified the Lord Jesus and had an impact on my walk with the Lord. There is nothing better you can say about a person, which led to my offering of thanksgiving and also the question of whether Mr. Middleton is still a resident of this present world. I haven't found him on the Internet yet, so it make me wonder. Regardless, I rejoice in the memory of a faithful brother, and will pray for he and his family "upon every remembrance" (of course, if he has departed the present world, he doesn't need my intercessions! :) ).
We leave traces and tracks upon the hearts of all whom we encounter. As one voice of old declared, "Every human being we meet is an immortal. We either help or hinder them along the path to their eternal destiny." Mr. Middleton helped. Of that I have no doubt. He served as a voice of Christ to me even when he could not openly communicate the Gospel. He exemplified what another voice of old expressed, "Preach the Gospel wherever you go. Use words when necessary." I am grateful for my dear brother, and hope to cross paths with him again in this life to let him know. But if not, I look forward to seeing him in the Heaven to which his life served as a signpost. Again, you can say nothing better about a person…
"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Weekly Memory Verse
"There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 2:5)