This year’s significant birthday marks on my calendar a reminder of passing time and has me asking many revealing questions. When my family was blessed to see the Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” in New York a few years ago, each scene moved me as I sat mesmerized in my seat. Some scenes more than others gave me pause, as some of you who have seen it can imagine.
The finale song lyrics for the musical still make me think deeply about the measure of my life and the time given:
“You could have done so much more if you only had time And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell your story?”
Questions I must consider:
- Have I done enough?
- Will they tell my story?
- What do I want to be remembered for if God gives me more time?
- What will be my legacy?
- What will be the legacy I tell of Robert Christopher Henderson?
- Will they tell our story?
Well, I doubt anyone will write a brilliant Broadway musical about us. LOL! But, could we dare to imagine if someone did such a thing? What would they write? Is there enough substance in my life to write lyrics for even one song, much less the 46 songs found in “Hamilton”?
So many questions. Will I leave an impact in my family and my community, or will my legacy be only about the “show”? In the back of my mind, I hear Oskar Schindler from the movie, “Schindler’s List,” lamenting as he considered how much more he could have done.
I never want to think that my story was I could have done more to help families like ours. I want to know that I have done everything within my power to encourage and give hope.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. How can we build a community of kindness and leave a legacy of significant impact? What would your story be if it was left up to others to tell?
Each of us has a measured amount of time. Each of us has a story to share. Each of us can tell our own story. Each of us can leave behind a legacy of good to be remembered.
Listening Library: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story (Album Hamilton: An American Musical, Lin-Manuel Miranda)
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 ESV)
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story
Let me tell you what I wish I'd known When I was young and dreamed of glory You have no control Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
President Jefferson I'll give him this, his financial system is a work of genius I couldn't undo it if I tried And I've tried
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
President Madison He took our country from bankruptcy to prosperity I hate to admit it But he doesn't get enough credit for all the credit he gave us
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story
Every other founding fathers' story gets told Every other founding father gets to grow old
And when you're gone, who remembers your name? Who keeps your flame? Who tells your story? Who tells your story? Who tells your story?
I put myself back in the narrative (Eliza) I stop wasting time on tears I live another 50 years It's not enough (Eliza)
I interview every soldier who fought by your side (She tells our story) I try to make sense of your thousands of pages of writings You really do write like you're running out of time
I rely on Angelica While she's alive, we tell your story She is buried in Trinity Church near you When I needed her most, she was right on time And I'm still not through I ask myself, what would you do if you had more time
The Lord, in his kindness He gives me what you always wanted He gives me more time
I raise funds in D.C. for the Washington Monument (She tells my story) I speak out against slavery You could have done so much more if you only had time
And when my time is up, have I done enough? Will they tell your story?
Oh, can I show you what I'm proudest of? (The orphanage) I established the first private orphanage in New York City (The orphanage) I help to raise hundreds of children I get to see them growing up (The orphanage) In their eyes I see you, Alexander I see you every time
And when my time is up Have I done enough? Will they tell your story?
Oh, I can't wait to see you again It's only a matter of time
Will they tell your story? (Time) Who lives, who dies, who tells your story? (Time) Will they tell your story? (Time) Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
Songwriters: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story lyrics © 5000 Broadway Music