When I was diagnosed with COVID earlier this year (a reminder that I was fortunate in that I never had any symptoms), I stocked up on tylenol and Vitamin D, I bought a thermometer, I set up a living space apart from the rest of my family, and… I wrote a will.
I guess it was the brief confrontation with mortality I needed to get my affairs in order. I know how important a will is but it was always one of those things on my to-do list that never got done. After all, who wants the reminder that they’re going to die?
Here’s the surprise: I never realized how much joy there could be in putting together a will!
Whatever remains of my estate will largely go to my family, but there are other organizations which have been important to me throughout my life that I wanted to remember. I imagined the smile on the face of some NAACP treasurer when they received a gift from some white person they’d never heard of before. I thought about the future seminarian whose debt-load will be a little bit lower through the ELCA’s Fund for Leaders. I thought of each of the churches I’ve been a part of over the years and the ways I’ve been blessed through their ministries.
There is joy in giving – even when the giving will happen far into the future (far, far, far into the future I hope!)
If you don’t have a will yet, please write one even if you think you won’t have much of an estate – you’ll discover for yourself the joy of giving!