Still Giving After All These Years

18 06 2017

By no doing of my own I have been the owner of two burial plots down in my birth home Rock _nof Princeton West Virginia. They’re set high on a hill overlooking beautiful mountains off in the distance. I’ve sat up there often taking in the view, feeling the presence of God in nature, while visiting the resting place of my beloved Aunt Pearl; which leads to how I came to own the two sites next to her.

Back during a visit in the 60s Pearly Mae visited this cemetery and realized this was the place she wanted her and her husband Price to be laid to rest. Always thinking of others, in this case my mom and me, she bought four sites with the idea we would all have a place when our time here on earth ended. In later years she would chuckle as she exclaimed, “I never gave a thought that when you’d grow and marry and want to be buried with your wife.” Good old Pearl.

Then in 1984 my caring and giving Great Aunt passed away from injuries sustained in an accident. Mom became the beneficiary to Pearl’s entire estate, including the remaining burial plots. Over the 20 years the question of what to do with them came up often. Neither of us had any plans of being buried there since our home was now Indiana, so selling them seemed to be the most pliable option. Then Ma would say, “Well, let’s not do anything right now; I want to think on it for a while;” And the matter would continue to go unresolved. Ma went home to be with Lord in 2008, leaving me as her only child to inherit all that she owned; and by then the burial sites in West Virginia was something I gave no thought to.

In wasn’t until a visit there two years ago to see family that I remembered this bit of unfinished business. Driving over to the cemetery I went to the office to inquire about the plots and was told it would take at least half an hour to pull up the records. That was fine since it gave me time to walk up and visit Pearl’s grave. Sitting there next to her marker, looking out at the Fall colors that lit up the trees on the mountains my memory went back to my childhood. Bacon, eggs, biscuit and gravy breakfasts, chores to do with Pearl in the garden, playing the card game rummy after dinner. But mostly remembering that dear woman’s smile and her ways. Then I thought about the place I was sitting was most likely where she had planned for me to be buried. I quickly jumped to my feet! Returning to the business at the bottom of the hill, and as I walked along I prayed, “God I hope you can help me do Pearl right on this whole thing, because I sure don’t know what to do; I need help!”

By the time I returned to the office they all the paperwork completed including a quick claim for me to sign. Then the lady behind the desk asked me, “So do you plan to be buried here?” “No Ma’am, and I’m not really sure what to do with them.” “Well you could transfer them to another cemetery within 75 miles, or you can sell them but that’s something you’d have to take care of yourself.” Since my Lady and I plan to have our ashes spread at Linville Falls, NC and I had no desire to try and sell, I found neither option was workable. I then asked her, “Could I contribute them to someone that was in need, and do you know of anyone?” This dear soul now was staring at me as in disbelief, which I took to mean no one had ever asked that before. Then quietly she stated, “I have a situation that came to me this morning of an elderly couple where the husband passed away and they don’t have burial plots or the funds to buy any. After a short staring contest, we both smiled when I said “I believe we have some more paperwork to do.”

2 Corinthians 9:8-11, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”

One moral Pearl placed in me was if God has given you enough to meet your needs, He’s also given you the opportunity to help others less fortunate; perhaps something that doesn’t mean that much to you may mean the world to someone else. As I stood there signing the new papers the thought came to me; “How bout that Pearly Mae, years after you’ve gone to heaven you’re still giving to make others happy.” I couldn’t even imagine the little smile she’d get at times like this. Awesome!

I doubt if I’ll ever know these “Travelers of the Rock Road” that God ordained to receive this  gift at just the right moment.  And that’s probably best anyway.  After all, it really didn’t come from me; I was just the delivery boy. God set this in motion some 50 years prior when He put it on Aunt Pearl’s heart to buy extra plots that would never be used as she thought.

What are those words from an old TV show? Oh yeah; “I love it when a plan comes together!!”

See ya next time.





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