The Shape of Things

Today’s devotion comes to us from Leigh McLeroy.


“Let Your Silhouette Be Your Legacy.”

That's what the feeder-road-facing, electronic sign advised. I passed it with no time to do more than guess at its likely connection to some high-end spa treatment. But even in that fleeting instant, I was struck by the message's utter incongruity:

Silhouette: (noun) Outline, contour, shape, form.

Legacy: (noun) Inheritance, heritage, endowment, gift.

So, let your outline be your inheritance. Your contour, your heritage. Your shape, your endowment. Your form, your gift. Let your external configuration (I envisioned here the chalk-traced perimeter of a body at a crime scene) be the thing you strive to bestow to others, and so be remembered by.

Then, there's the obvious disconnect (but who thinks this through at the blink of an ad?): My legacy is bestowed when I am...dead. So I'm being asked to leave behind nothing but an empty form when I am gone, in the hopes that it will be said of me, "She had such a great shape."

Later, when I remembered the phrase, I did some digging. It was connected to a trademarked portfolio of "medical aesthetics" claiming to "reshape and tighten without surgery or downtime," through "cellulite reduction, skin tightening and wrinkle reduction." In other words, let my legacy be that I was tight, wrinkle-free and reduced!

I'm glad I saw the sign. It reminded me that the legacy I am aiming for is not a legacy of form or outline. It is an endowment of content, a heritage of meaning, an inheritance of love.

Father, let me bequeath—when I take leave of this imperfect and very temporary form—thousands of acts of kindness, countless whispered prayers, hours of listening, scores of words upon scores of pages that point to You and Your infinite goodness. Let me leave with others the memory of being seen and heard, loved and cherished, in Your name and by your grace. Don't, I beg of You, let my silhouette be my legacy!

- Leigh McLeroy

What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.  (I Corinthians 15:42-44, 49)

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