Some days our mailbox is empty. Other days Talbots comes through with their seasonal magazine of winsome pictures and occasionally with it, old school alumni magazines are there. The Choate School. Greenwich Academy. Harvard. Radcliffe. Barnard. The University of Edinburgh. Union Seminary. Luther Seminary.
The “old school” doesn’t want to be forgotten. They need support from generous alumna and alumnas.
I had a college roommate who became a wealthy man. And he had a generous heart. He gave buildings at our prep school. He funded chairs at the Divinity School. He shared what he had.
It’s tempting to dismiss appeals, saying as one of our relatives does, “Well Harvard has more money than God!” An excuse for not giving.
I want to give to all. But Molly restrains me, wisely. Because there are missions and ministries we want to help, too. And our churches, and the Pilgrim Center, most of all.
And educational help for grandchildren. And major shares for our grown children from the “estate” we will leave when we die. All serious, faith considerations.
And yet, all those schools do have a claim. They gave me far more than I gave them. After all, I was a scholarship student those four high school years. Learning in that privileged place through the generosity of earlier generations who simply wanted to give me that amazing gift of education.
It was similarly true for college. For my aunt – my mother’s half-sister – with no children of her own, dying in middle-age of cancer, left enough for 31 nieces and nephews to have a full four-year college course.
Even in graduate school at Union Seminary, my parents paid my way. My parents paid for those additional three years of study. This minister’s kid was helped by so many, who wanted me to have the privilege of learning, to study with great teachers. And my coaches, who taught me to be a captain of my freshmen crew.
Always there were those who helped. Some who didn’t even know me. But, it has been that way through life. Molly always says, “There are so many who helped us.”
Because it can travel all through the years. Kind and generous parishioners – who cared about me, and my family, loving us all, wonderfully encouraging to Molly and me – and our children. People who gave, generously of their resources. Which meant also of their wisdom and insight. And, for some, of their prayers.
And it still happens. And I understand now, it is the bounty and blessing of God. The encouragers are on all sides today. Friends at our Senior Living home. Friends, who are my Christian comrades.
I don’t ever want to forget. And never stop giving myself. To so many. May we all remember. It is the Jesus way. The giving away of our lives.
Bless you as you carry on.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES