I was thinking about my neighbor Bill recently when I drove by his house. He and his wife Kathryn moved in 30 years ago right after it was built. Over time Bill added a garage and made other improvements.
I stopped by one summer day in 1999 to check on our new house when it was being completed. Bill had made a nice house number placard affixed to a 4×4 post. He was in his yard using a post hole digger to install it. There is nothing special in all of this, except Bill was 89 at the time! He had made good progress, but hit some rock about 12″ down. I helped him through that. As soon as I again reached dirt, he insisted on finishing the job himself. Bill had a lot of pride in his house and treasured living there.
Bill and Kathryn passed on about 5 years ago. Bill’s house became Mike’s house. Now it is Laura’s house. In God’s eyes it was never really Bill’s house — it was just loaned to him temporarily. We may or may not get to keep our home during our time on earth. We definitely do not get to take it, or anything else, with us
Bill’s house is a metaphor for all of our worldly possessions. Yes, they are important for the physical and financial needs of our families. Yet we are called upon to help others in their time of need too. Always remembering that balance is important.
Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’