One of the things that struck me, when my family and I gathered with others for a memorial service for my mother two weeks ago, was that many of those present lifted up how incredibly hard she and my father had worked to provide for our family. Just hearing examples of how my mother got all five of us ready for school in the fall of each year filled me again with deep gratitude.
Mom never complained about her hard work. Instead she explained to us that we couldn’t get everything right away, or even at all. She made sure that we understood that she and Dad loved us, and they’d give us the world if they could. And, I remember her saying, in a way that betrayed our native Dutch, “We can trust in God, and what is better than knowing that?”
My mother lived a rich and fulfilling life. No, she didn’t store up wealth for the future. Instead she lived in a kind-hearted and generous way, and invested herself in strong relationships with her loved ones and others. I’m truly grateful that she showed us the value of trusting in God, and loving well.
Ellen Charry wrote, “Even in the face of evil, rejection, or suffering, a person who has learned to love well will experience satisfaction from being herself – a person built from the loving use of her God-given goodness and creativity.”
In the end, more than anything else, it’s this that brings us the happiness that riches can’t buy.
In the peace of Christ,