What My Mom and Oprah Have in Common
My mom and Oprah have something in common. My mom loved collecting stuff. She loved the hunt – the cheaper the better. And, she collected in volume.
My mom loved her birds and Oprah loved her bathtub. My mom never did much thinking about what all her stuff represented to her – but Oprah has. What I love about Oprah is her honesty: “[The bathtub] represented wealth…and it made me feel special.” In many ways, the birds represented wealth to my mom too. She never had much money growing up so when she saw a ceramic bird, and because she had money in the bank, she would buy it. Simply because she could. Mom did indeed feel special too – everyone one who came to visit would ooh and ah over the birds. Much like I would guess people who saw Oprah’s tub would do as well.
There’s nothing wrong with having "stuff" – but when stuff begins to be the object of why we exist and what defines our self-worth – then it has overshadowed the Good News of Easter. When it blocks our ability to be generous with our money, or our time, or our talent then we have failed to listen to Jesus when He said,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6: 19-21, NRSV).
You are wealthy – not because of your stuff – but in spite of it. You are special – not because of your stuff – but because the Lord of Life whispers in your ear each and every day that you are loved unconditionally. I hope my mom discovered that at some point, and I hope Oprah does too. And if you, dear reader, still don’t believe it, here’s Gungor telling you…
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. And yes, she is surrounded by her mother's birds. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.