This is a translation of a scriptural meditation from the Russian book, “Day by Day”:
Scripture: “Their deeds will follow them” (Rev. 14:13)
"The influence which our earthly life and actions have on those around us extends far beyond the grave.
"In nature not a single sound disappears. It travels infinitely farther than the limits of our hearing. The surface of the sea is stirred when a pebble is thrown, and the ripples continue to spread farther and farther, endlessly moving into other seas and oceans.
"So every kind word uttered on earth, every good thought, every good intention and action, unbeknownst to us, will have a limitless and unpredictable influence. In that sense our deeds follow us. Whatever we do in Christ and for Him, anything for which He is the source or goal – the good seed sown by us in a young soul, the good impulse that we submit to – all this will not die with us. Spiritual fruit on the fertilized soil of the human heart will grow just as certainly as the fruit on trees grows every year before our eyes. And finally, doesn’t the eternal renewal of nature show us the indisputable and limitless reality of a positive influence? A long time ago someone, now long dead, planted a tree, and tired travelers have rested underneath it for ages.
"Almost three thousand years have passed since the death of David, the author of the psalms. But his words resound to this day throughout the Christian world, and the influence of his psalms is reflected in innumerable human hearts. What St. Paul and saints long deceased did is felt everywhere today where their words are read or their lives are described.
“In the same way the most humble of lives, dedicated to God, the most humble labor in God’s field will undoubtedly leave its imprint on earth, and for a very long time after the death of these unnoticed laborers their moral way of life will continue to influence and bring benefit to many.”
This brings to mind the description of Sarah Smith by Lewis’s guide, George McDonald, in The Great Divorce:
“She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things…Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter…Every beast and bird that came near her has its place in her love…And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)