The Legend

“I believe loving one another must first begin with our relationship with Jesus. I challenge you the next time you pray, to close your eyes and have a seat with Jesus.” Destiny Welsh shares a new post at The Well’s blog, reminding us the more time we spend developing our relationships with the Lord, the more He will form our hearts to His own.

Destiny and Fr. Ed, aka “The Legend”

There’s a man living in Lansing, Iowa, whom many in northeast Iowa would deem a legend. He’s not a famous actor or a well-known author, but he does have the ability to make each person he meets feel incredibly important. This could possibly be what each of us yearns for –to feel as if we are someone in this world.

This man is a Catholic priest, yet people from all denominations and beliefs tend to be drawn to his presence. Perhaps it’s his gentle voice, tall stature, or magical singing talent that attracts people. Or maybe it’s more. Maybe it’s something unseen by our eyes and unheard by our ears.

Recently I asked this legend, Father Monsignor Edward Lechtenberg, or Father Ed as most call him, “What do you feel is important for Catholics, or anyone, to know?”

He thought for just a few seconds, and then in his calm voice said, “The importance of a personal relationship with God.”

He went on to say, “People often recite an Our Father quickly without taking time to truly understand what they’re saying. He giggled when telling me about a family that bragged about being able to say a whole rosary from the time they left their church to the moment they got to a certain turn on their way home. Father told me, “That’s not praying.”

At 92-years-old, Father Ed’s personal relationship continues to come through to the people he meets. Friends, family, and strangers alike can’t help but feel loved when he’s around. It’s his love of people that attracts us. Although his gentle voice, tall stature, and the ability to sing an Irish hymn doesn’t hurt.

In the Gospel of John 13:34 Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I believe loving one another must first begin with our relationship with Jesus. I challenge youthe next time you pray, to close your eyes and have a seat with Jesus. Whether it’s in a field, around a table, on a beach, wherever you want to go, and talk to Him as a friend. Tell Him your dreams, your worries, your fears, your joys and then listen. He will talk to you.

The more time you spend developing your relationship with the Lord, the more He will form your heart to His own. Others will recognize Christ in you, in the way you love. Just like Father Ed, they will be drawn to you and feel loved by you. Slowly, you will become Christ’s heart on earth.

Copyright 2019 Destiny Welsh

Destiny Welsh is a special education teacher in the Des Moines Public Schools. She grew up the youngest of 14 children in the small northeastern town of Lansing, Iowa. Hiking the beautiful bluffs along the Mississippi River as a child created a sense of adventure that continued into adulthood. She has always felt God was calling her to learn about cultures other than her own, and now spends much of her free time working with immigrants and refugees in the Des Moines area. Destiny continues to rely on God to lead her to her next adventure, wherever that might be.