I’ve noticed, however, that when moving a piece of furniture even after a relatively short time, there are imprints left behind. An impression on the rug left by a table leg, a dent in the wall where the end table chafed it, or a dimple on the sofa where it pressed against the lamp’s plug in the wall.
Some of those imprints will fade, and some stay. When we removed a living room area rug last summer, a color difference remained. Even into the hard tile floor, sunlight and foot traffic made a lasting imprint.
Our lives leave imprints too, like it or not. Throughout our lives, people come and go. It’s likely that you remember the praise or criticism of a parent or a teacher, leaving an imprint that affects you even now in some way. And because we are human, we have probably all done that to our own children, friends and loved ones as well.
Leaving a positive imprint needn’t be difficult, but it’s best when we are intentional about it. For example, sometimes I have to remind myself that in every conversation, in every encounter, I have the choice as to what kind of imprint I will leave.
Ephesians 4:29b says it like this, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” That’s leaving a worthy imprint with words.
This week our church family is grieving the sudden loss of a beloved senior church member, and I can already see that she has left a wonderful imprint on many people at our church, a positive impression that will last a very long time. Part of the comfort in grief is knowing her influence mattered to so many.
Next time you move a chair on carpet, take a moment to notice the impression on the floor. And maybe that can remind you to think about life imprints. I’m challenged today to think about the imprints my life is leaving. How can my words and my actions leave a greater God-honoring impression in the lives of others?