“The good leave an inheritance to their children’s children”
At a recent family reunion several of us were sitting around sharing fond memories of my grandmother. This was the first family gathering since her passing and her absence was palpable. After a brief moment of silence, one of my aunts, my grandmother’s daughter-in-law, spoke up. She told the group about a small box my grandmother had given her with instructions to wait to open it and share it with everyone when “the time was right.” With my grandmother no longer with us, she believed the right time had finally come.
The small box was actually a medium-sized, plastic food storage container that held a dozen pieces of costume jewelry that my grandmother wore, and an assortment of pins my grandfather (who had died several years earlier) had kept that his sons had earned with the Explorer Scouts. The items had no real monetary value, but my grandmother attributed special significance to them, believing her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren would consider them precious keepsakes. She was right.
An outsider, while admiring my grandmother’s thoughtful gesture, would probably not be impressed with the “inheritance” she left to her descendants. The truth is, it was only the tip of the iceberg. The most amazing thing we all received from her is worth more than all the money in the world. As a woman who possessed a deep and abiding faith in God--a saint if there ever was one--my grandmother left us the greatest inheritance we could ever ask for. Her prayer life, the way she spoke to and about Jesus, and the love she had for others, inspired and challenged us all. She knew God personally, and wanted more than anything for everyone else to know him too. As someone who has invested much in my attempts to know about God, I can only hope to someday to know God as well as she did.
All believers can point to someone who gave a similar gift to them. Our faith is a received faith, an inherited faith, something that has been passed down, from one generation to the next. If not a grandmother, perhaps a parent, friend, or neighbor. May God help us not to squander the gift we have been given, and leave a similar inheritance to those who come after us.