Here is an illustration from William Barclay about the impact of our influence, recounted from H. L. Gee: An old man died, with all his loved ones having gone on before him. Gee thought no one would attend the man’s funeral, so he showed up. It was only at the cemetery that a soldier also attended the lonely affair. “As they walked, the wind blew the soldier’s raincoat open to reveal the shoulder badges of a brigadier. The brigadier said to Gee: ‘You will perhaps be wondering what I am doing here. Years ago, Thomas was my Sunday School teacher; I was a wild lad and a sore trial to him. He never knew what he did for me, but I owe everything I am or will be to old Thomas, and today I had to come to salute him at the end.’ Thomas did not know what he was doing. No preacher or teacher ever does. It is our task to sow the seed, and to leave the rest to God” (Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, 73–74).
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