I can hear her voice even now. I know it will fade, so I cling to the memory, begging it not to die with her. The words I hear are not words I ever heard her speak. Instead, I seem to glimpse her waking up in Heaven. She looks around, sees God Almighty, and says, “LORD, I’m here already?” It’s not that she’s disappointed. She’s elated in fact. But she is surprised. Her life on Earth completed, she so gently slipped to Heaven that even she did not expect the change–at least that’s how the scene plays in my mind.
I have to laugh when I imagine what Dr. Libby’s first moments in Heaven were like. My imagination clings so desperately to her. Her voice echoes in my ears, and I ache for it to remain forever. It’s not a stretch to hear her speak to of the LORD. He was her favorite topic of conversation, literature taking a close second. God was constantly a part of Dr. Libby’s life. I admire her for her faith. She seemed to really know God, not just know about Him, but truly love Him. It’s no wonder that the word I can hear most clearly was one she so frequently spoke: LORD. For that is who He is. The LORD and Master of Dr. Libby’s life, the LORD and Master of my own. Of the legacy Dr. Libby left for me, this is the greatest portion. One ringing word, echoing through my memory as the last reminder of her voice: LORD. What a legacy!
That was not all Dr. Libby gave me. Though I never had a class with her and never once stepped into her office, Dr. Libby offered me all the kindness and love she gave to everyone. My plan was to declare my major this semester and switch academic advisers so that I would be under her leadership. She knew my plan and was excited to welcome me in this capacity. I had planned out the rest of my college career. Several of my future classes would have been under her. I had not spent one hour under Dr. Libby’s instruction, yet I was thoroughly blessed by the gentle love which she graciously offered to all who knew her.
Even so, after all Dr. Libby has done for me, her legacy is summed up in that one word: LORD. For He is the One she was always talking about. He was the the One she constantly served. He was the Source of her love for everyone around her. Dr. Libby could not be separated from her LORD. And that legacy will remain.
As I think about Dr. Libby’s one-word legacy, the one word that sums up the much beloved and greatly missed literature professor. Perhaps that sounds like an over-simplification of a complex and wonderful woman. But it is the greatest honor I can bestow on her, and it is an honor she has earned. May our legacies be as simple and as powerful as that of our beloved Dr. Libby.