Proverbs 10:2 Tainted wealth has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.
"Hi Mrs. Chavis", the lady sitting in the foyer of the restaurant said kindly. I greeted her and looked closely - trying to figure out who she was. She looked vaguely familiar, but my mind was drawing a blank. Her hair and clothes were disheveled and in need of washing. She looked to be in her 70's and was obviously not in good health. And was that alcohol I smelled on her? I pushed these thoughts out of my mind and stepped closer... "I'm trying to remember where I know you from, sweetie". When she spoke her name to me, I tried not to show my surprise. Could this be true? This was not an elderly woman! She was younger than me! My mind was flooded with the memories of her story... Living in a small town, you hear things about people...
Her husband was one of the wealthiest and most prominent men in our town. He owned several properties and when he divorced his wife (who was the Mayor of Spring Lake!) well... it made the headlines. Of course days after their divorce was final, he married a beautiful young woman - nearly 25 years younger than him - whom he had been living with.
And now she sat looking up at me - 25 years later... unrecognizable. I sat down beside her and said, "It's so good to see you Cynthia... how have you been?" She began to pour her heart out to me. She pulled up her pants leg to show me a bandage - telling me how desperately she needed our church to pray for her. A six month old wound was not healing because of a circulatory blockage. She told me that she needed surgery to save her leg, but that she had no insurance. When I asked about her husband, she told me that he was in an Alzheimer patient in a sanitarium... and that all of his estate had been absorbed by the nursing homes and twenty-four hour care he needed for the past ten years. She only had one of the rental homes left, where she now lives... in near poverty.
By this time the rest of our group was exiting the restaurant, and I gathered them to pray for this precious lady. We anointed her with oil and prayed a prayer of healing and blessing over her. She sobbed and promised to come to church... and then she claimed her healing right there. We rejoiced with her and I gave her our church card and contact information.
My husband and I drove home reflecting on the last few times we had seen this family. Her husband owned a Garden Center where we frequently went for plants and such... we recalled how vehement he was against religion, God and Christians. I remember that his young wife would just shake her head and smile, because she went to church occasionally, and he would just rant about her wasting her time and his money. When the Garden Center closed, we heard through the grapevine that he was ill and that they had lost the business... and then later that he was in a nursing home.
In my Bible reading this morning, this verse in Proverbs reminded me of the life of this couple. He was a millionaire - a prominent man in our city. She lived the high life. Wanted for nothing... but tainted wealth has no lasting value. When we come to the end of our days... right living is what will sustain us and give us hope! I am so grateful for my life today. I may not have tasted of the wealth of this world, but I'm living the BEST LIFE! I'm living a BLESSED LIFE! And I thank God for every breath!