The below article first appeared on Legacy Arts Magazine.
A Legacy of Stewardship and Generosity
Gram Rogers had to raise her children in a very difficult situation with an abusive husband and father-in-law who beat her children and beat her when she tried to stop them. My dad left home at 12 to get away from the abuse, and he worked for a dollar a day and room and board. He ultimately went on to work 2-3 jobs while putting himself through school to make a better life for us than what he and my Mom had growing up.
My grandmother worked hard to provide for her family as a single parent when single parents weren’t that common. Gram Rogers was a very successful Avon lady and real estate agent. People loved her and loved doing business with her. However, in spite of her success, she never had much to show for it. She was a good steward and tried to live frugally as many people who lived through the Great Depression did.
She would take us for rides where she would bring food or other necessities to those in need, always sharing the joy of Christ with them. With her sales ability, she probably could have been rich in this world’s goods, but she chose to be poor in order to give to meet the needs of others — in Jesus’ name!
I remember one June she gave my brother and me our first Bibles — on her birthday! In that Bible she wrote, “Read Psalm 46:1.” It said, “God is our Refuge & Strength, a very present help in trouble.” I was 13 years old at the time. Before I even knew Christ as my Lord and Savior, I had learned stewardship and generosity because it was modeled for me by my Gram Rogers, and I learned that God was generous to all of us!
A Legacy of Faith
Because of Gram Rogers, I had an intimate knowledge that God is who He said He is; that Jesus is the Son of God, that the Bible is the Word of God; and that all the things taught in it were true.
Even when I started hanging around the wrong crowd, became a leader in that crowd, and got involved in all sorts of evil and juvenile delinquency, God, in His divine grace and mercy decided to draw me to Himself. My best friend’s mother started a youth group at a small church in the town we lived in. Since it was his mother, he had to go. He invited me, and since they did a lot of fun activities, I went.
I knew that I could fool my parents, lie to my teachers or the police, and get out of trouble. But for the first time in my life, I knew that I would, one day, face God almighty and that I couldn’t fool Him or lie my way out of His judgment. That night, I trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior. The seeds of the Gospel that my Gram had lovingly planted over the years sprung forth into the fruit of eternal life.