Many have written books about men who are virtuous and embody strong values. The quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” sums it up quite succinctly in my opinion. Sadly, we do not always know the depth of a person until they are gone, and we look back over the track record of their accomplishments and all the lives they touched. Recently I attended the celebration of life for the Honorable John Jackson Kennedy, former Pasadena City Councilman. John was such a man.
Several years ago, I owned a house in Pasadena that I used as an office. We called it Casa Eldora because it was located on Eldora Street. During those years I got to know several people that were based in the Pasadena area and John was one of those individuals along with his sister Lena. John was always kind, and he had a smile that would light up any room he walked into. He exhibited patience, compassion, and a strength that I admired. He truly cared for his beloved city and its residents.
I knew John, but I had no idea of the depth of who he was and all the things he stood for. Especially his love for his family, One Pasadena, as well as for seniors and youth. It is my understanding that he never married nor had children of his own, but he gave of himself whenever and wherever he felt he was needed and could make a difference. He was married to the calling God put on his life. It was evident from his service and from all the people that spoke so highly of him that he loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and he was not afraid to share his faith anywhere and everywhere he went. He shared his faith by dropping little pearls of wisdom, scripture, and positive words of affirmation to those in his life. It was funny because many thought they were the only ones he sent these messages to, but it was revealed that he had a special gift of making many feel special and one of a kind. John was one of a kind.
When one attends such a service and has had the honor of crossing paths with someone such as John, we should be encouraged to know there are still kind, loving, and giving people in this world that truly care about others; who want to leave a legacy of love. It should also encourage us to look at our own lives to see what are we doing to make a difference in the lives of others. Have we given our best? Have we sacrificed anything to help make the journey for someone else a little lighter? Will the world truly miss us when we are no longer here?
We should all be our brother and sister’s keepers. We should be of service to others. Our aim should be to hear at the end of our journey, according to 2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. How will others measure your life and what you stood for? Fame and fortune will fade only what we do for Christ and how we sow into the lives of others will be what lives on. None of us know how long we have left on this earth. If we want to be remembered for caring about the well-being of others it is never too late to start. Thank you John for leaving such a rich legacy and for being an example to follow.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.