September 21, 2015

Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

In taking care of our mother’s possessions after her passing from life to death to life again last Monday, my sister and I are amazed at how orderly she was. I have heard stories of surviving children having to labor many hours to remove belongings from houses that needed to be prepared for sale. In contrast my mother determined that things she didn’t need, including clothing, were to go so others might possibly use them.

Coffins do not come with trailer hitches. We can’t take our possessions with us. We entered this world naked, and we leave the same way. In the meantime, how do we manage and use our possessions? My mother subscribed to the theory that the most important file is the trash can. If you don’t need it or use it, get rid of it. Otherwise it is in the way and clutters both your home and your mind from appreciating the things that are important.

There is much to be said for traveling through this life lightly. As Jesus said in regard to mission: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.” (Mark 6: 8-9) As Christians we are called to love people and use things. In loving things we may soon be using people. Possessions are given to us by God to serve us. Too many things can cause us to serve them. The constant care required of us to look after too many things can enslave us to our belongings and keep us away from where God wants us to be. My mother traveled lightly. It is one of her many lessons that could serve me well. With my love and best wishes, I am,

Your brother in Christ,