This is the opening from a marvelous piece by Tom McGrath in our Seasons magazine:
“I can’t remember how the topic came up. ‘Now you’ve done it,’ my mother joked with one of her four grown children, ‘you’re out of the will.’ We laughed with Mom and Dad about how that probably meant another forty-three bucks for the rest of us to split.
Then my sister, Peg, got serious for a moment and said, ‘The only thing I want when Mom and Dad die is the Prayer of St. Francis print.’ Without missing a beat, my two brothers and I blurted out, ‘No, that’s MINE!’
The most valuable thing in our home growing up (and later in Mom and Dad’s downsized condo) was a nicely framed calligraphic print of the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, ‘Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…’ And, apparently, it meant a lot to all of us. But after a brief tense moment, we softened. We realized that the inheritance had already been given, that the legacy was already ours. We already had that prayer written in our hearts.
Is there anything like that in your home? Is there any evidence of your most deeply held beliefs displayed on your walls or on a bookshelf? If a stranger visited your home, would he or she know you were a follower of Jesus?”