Nor does your finger leave the same fingerprint upon others’ heart and soul.
I recently left my retirement job at Christie Lane Industries after almost 3 1/2 years. I loved the people I worked with and for, but just as soon as you think you’re set and the place you’re in is where God wants you, think again. He’s fickle like that. He’s never satisfied of just where we are at now. He wants more of us, because he knows there’s more that we can do to serve Him and others.
As a going-away present the staff members at Christie Lane gave me a framed piece of parchment paper with more than 50 fingerprints of individuals I served while there. Each print is carefully labeled with the person’s first name who made it. In the middle of all the prints is the phrase — You Have Made a Difference. Every time I look at it, I smile and think of the care and love put into that framed picture by the individuals and staff members. It will have a place of prominence in my new office one day.
As I look at each print, there are certainly no two of them alike. Some are larger and darker, others are smaller and more faint. Each has left a lasting impression upon my heart and soul regardless of its size.
Which got me to thinking, what fingerprint on the heart and soul have I left on those in my life? Are they large or small? Have they been clear and significant or have they been smudged and hurtful? Every person I’ve ever met in my 58 years, even for the briefest amount of time, I’ve left an impression — whether it is good or bad. I may not have even known your name. For those that I left a good impression, I hope it made a positive difference in your life. For those that I didn’t, let me know and I’ll try and leave a better one.
The same is true for all of you reading this. We’re all human. None of us are perfect, but we can always do something about the smudged and hurtful fingerprints we’ve left on others and make ones that are larger, clearer and more positive. We leave enough of those and the smudged hurtful ones no longer stand out. It’s like that mark on a painted wall. Keep painting over it and you’ll no longer see the mark. Human hearts and souls are like that too. Some just need more coats of paint perhaps.
I will be reminded when I look at that framed fingerprint picture of the positive imprints those individuals made on me and will make it my daily mission to do the same for those in my life – no matter how brief the encounter.
The fingerprint of God always leaves a lasting, loving impression. So should mine. So should yours.
Dennis Stieber is a life-long Huron County resident.