A perspective written with Lea Kharshemme King
While opening my laptop internet application I noticed an announcement, “Clark Mansion Sells,” so I clicked on the link to see if there was an interesting illustration that could be gathered from such an interesting headline. The inset photograph is of Heiress Huguette Clark posted on http://www.businessinsider.com/heiress-huguette-clark-lived-in-a-hospital-2013-9, where the captions read “The Estate of Huguette M. Clark, from the book ‘Empty Mansions’ ” and “Huguette was shy, but not sad. Her friends and the few relatives who knew her describe her as cheerful, gracious, stubborn, and devoted to her art and her charity to friends and strangers. She poses in a Japanese print dress at about age 37.” I read that the Heiress had died in 2011 at the age of 104 and that her home had finally been sold after so many years of waiting. Immediately I felt a sorrow for her. They seems so nice from the outside, the lives of the wealthy, but then when their lives come to an end, so many times, there’s family feuds over whom will inherit all that money. The fact that her homes were left vacant for so long gave me a feeling that she hadn’t known anyone worthy of being her heir.
Being rich is not for everyone especially if you’re not willing to work for it. The Scripture says that God gives man the ability to earn wealth. And he does this for man’s personal enjoyment and he does it in order fulfill the covenant promise he made to Abraham. He promised that Abraham would become the father of many nations and that through his descendants many nations both within and outside the faithful community would be blessed. People are ultimately given wealth through God’s empowering so that there is the ability to be generous with everyone who was ever in need; the poor, the widow, the orphan, the hunger and the homeless. God wants to express his compassion for people through people in community. Giving ought to be a universally expected behavior.
It is rather hypocritical, I would say, to condemn the wealthy out of jealousy, envy and selfishness and then to turn around and be stingy. This I say to anyone on any level because as we all know, when we compare ourselves to others, there will always be someone who is better off and someone who is worse off than we happen to be at any given time. And we do not know the hearts of others, nor do we know each man’s struggle. We don’t know what people with great wealth go through, however; we can see in our daily lives examples of how so many with a lot have given to the benefit of the masses. Parks, for instance come to us by way of the generous folks who feel the need to give for whatever reason. Places like the famous Central Park in Manhattan, New York, which are an experience in themselves, are built through philanthropic giving of the well-to-do. Then there are parks which are funded and built by Mell-Roos revenues collected monthly and/or annually from home and property owners and the common working man. Tax dollars pay for city parks and finally there places like the types of play areas you see in housing communities that are built and maintained through HOAs. Homeowners agree to pay a monthly fee in order to have access to and keep clean a place in which to gather, to play and to enjoy as a perk of homeownership and community living. Hospitals, parks, reserves, libraries, charitable organizations of all kinds are blessings our nation has received from its generous wealthy citizens. God moves resources and uses whomever would be the best possible option for the most possible benefit within the best possible amount of time. No matter the vessel, whether wicked or good-welled, God is in control.
Generosity doesn’t only involve the wealthy. There are other things which we all can give that are quite priceless. Donating your time through participating in volunteer opportunities is giving. OurKingShare offers some ideas here on under the Resources category. You don’t have to be a member of the top wealthiest in America. You simply need a heart for serving the needs of others.
Photos are available online. Search Huguette M. Clark, Andree Clark and William Clark.