Jesus says that we should be rich in God’s sight? How do we do that? Well, mainly by investing in other people’s lives and making a real difference to them.
Here’s a story I rather like….
There once was a Primary School teacher, a Miss Thompson. In her class was a lad, Terry Jones who was not very likeable. Terry was one of those youngsters that Miss Thompson did not care for.
He was unkempt. His hair was dishevelled. He stared blankly at you, and uttered one syllable answers to the questions that he was asked. Miss Thompson took special delight in marking an X in red pencil beside wrong answers.
She should have known better. She had the records.. First Year, Terry is an average pupil but is not working to his potential, a bad home situation. Year Two, Terry is distracted and is not working well. His mother has terminal cancer. Year 3, Teddy is getting worse. He is not keeping up with the rest of the class, His mother died this year. His Dad seems disinterested.
At Christmas all the children brought presents for the teacher and piled them on her desk. Terry brought a present. It was wrapped in brown paper with masking tape.
Miss Thompson opened it. An old bracelet with some of the stones missing fell out, and there was a bottle of cheap perfume half empty.
The other children laughed. Miss Thompson had the sense to put the bracelet on and dabbed the perfume on her wrist. Then she lifted her arm up for all the children to see. Due to the example of the teacher, all agreed that it was a wonderful gift.
Terry stayed after school that day. He said, “Miss Thompson, when you put that perfume on you smell like my mother…..and her bracelet looked nice on you too.”
When the new term started, Miss Thompson was a changed person because she was determined not just to impart information but to make a difference in the lives of her pupils
She was going to truly invest herself in their lives. She started with Terry. She gave him extra classes, and by the end of the year, he had caught up to the rest of the class and was ahead of many.
Years later she got a letter:
Dear Miss Thompson, I’m doing fine. I am second in my class. I wanted you to be the first to know. Signed: Terry Jones
Few years later, she got another letter:
Dear Miss Thompson, I have just been informed that I will graduate with Honours, 1st class. I thought that you would like to know. University has been hard, but I have enjoyed it. Signed: Terry Jones
Some years later she got another letter,
Dear Miss Thompson, I have finished my course, and as of June 30th will be Dr. Terry Jones, Doctor of Medicine. How about that? I am going to be married on July 27th. I want you to come to the wedding and sit where my mother would have sat. You are all the family I have left. Dad died last year. I surely hope that you can make it. Signed Terry Jones.
Miss Thompson went, and she sat where Terry’s mother would have sat. She deserved it because she had given herself in such a way that a student was brought alive and it made all the difference in the world
What’s really important? It is in giving ourselves in such a way that others could say we made a difference. That also is being rich in God’s sight