None of my family, neither my parents nor their parents, has ever been accused of being rich by any stretch of the word. So it stands to reason that when a family member passes away, there is no expectation for an inheritance of huge monetary worth. Since there is no expectation, there is no disappointment.
Such was the case when my Granny passed away. She lived the last years of her life in a small retirement apartment and then in a nursing home. She left very little. But she did leave a couple of things behind. I got my little bit just like all the rest of us.
At the home of one of my aunts, we were going through some of Granny’s left overs and there was this little blue glass jar. It was a Mary Lowell Hand Cream jar – Granny was forever putting lotion on her hands. It held a few buttons and a couple of little Christmas type jingle bells. I am pretty sure that she never threw a single button out – ever. Nobody wanted that little jar, so I piped up and said I would take it. I took my little jar back home with me and set it in a place where I would see it once in a while. It would make me think of Granny for those moments when it caught my attention. It is my singular portion of the inheritance, well almost.
One day, when I picked up my little blue jar and held it in my hand I remembered a conversation Granny had with me shortly after I surrendered to the ministry. My mind was taken back more than 20 years to that conversation about our family heritage. In that brief moment stolen from the din of many members of our huge family gathered for one of those holiday get togethers, Granny told me that I was now number nine in a long line of Baptist preachers. It took more than twenty years and the task of officiating her funeral service to bring me back to that conversation.
I began to dig into my family heritage a short time later. That research showed me that nine generations back near Pickens, South Carolina, there was an illiterate itinerate Baptist preacher, John “The Ten Shilling Bell” Chastain. He founded and pastored the Oolenoy Baptist Church in 1795. I have found a person with the title “Reverend” or the certain probability of being a preacher in every generation since. That along with Granny’s word is enough to convince me. I am a ninth generation Baptist preacher.
The research is ongoing. In fact, I stopped in the middle of this writing to send a question that came to mind as I wrote. I have found though that I have a heritage of faith that goes back to a man born in France around the year 1600. His family was persecuted for their faith. They were known as Huguenots. What a rich heritage I have!
I come across that little blue jar from time to time. And when I do, I think of my Granny who told me about my heritage of faith. That is the best inheritance I could ever want. It is much bigger than anything that will fit in any little blue jar.
See You SONday!