Rich, and Enriching

Clara Hobson never had a lot of money, but she wasn’t poor, either. I’m not sure it mattered, because Clara had very little desire for the things most people esteem—the expensive car, a cavernous home, a wardrobe bursting at the seams, bling. Simple was enough. Tangible treasures to her were books with their mind-expanding capacity and photographs through which she re-lived her travels and embraced her family yet one more time.

And people. Clara never had much extra money to invest in financial markets, but she poured herself into a marketplace of people. Quick to listen and patient to speak, she honored their value and earned their trust. Exceedingly wise, yet humble in demeanor, she was grounded guidance in the bustling bazaar that is this world. Confident and joyful in the faithfulness of God, she exuded stability amid turbulence and certainty amid confusion. No wonder people sought her counsel and calm.

Clara Hobson was my grandmother. Her final days were lived out in a nursing home, where she could receive the quality of care she needed. Confined to her bed and her body failing, her world receded and narrowed as it does in our final, waning months. Looking around her room one day, I was struck by the paucity of possessions—a few family pictures, her Bible (and perhaps another book, I’m not sure), and a dress in her wardrobe, maybe two. That was it, she possessed nothing more. And I thought, there’s something beautiful about this, something pure. We come in with nothing, and we take nothing with us when we leave. In the end, it’s just us and God.

If there were any possessions, other than keepsakes, that made their way to my brother, my sister and me, I’m unaware of it. But Grandma gave us plenty; she gave to us what she gave to everyone else—a living example of what it means to entrust one’s life entirely to God, to fully invest one’s life into others, and to build our treasures in heaven. In truth, she was very rich, and she greatly enriched her world. May we live in such a way that the same can be said of us.

Father, lead me in wisdom and in love, so that, putting behind me the pursuits of this world, I am free to bless the people of this world. I ask this through Christ Jesus, your Son, my Lord. Amen.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Christ in me is humility.

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