Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
Jun. 5, 2018
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.
~ 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)
In 1947 Sylvia Bloom became one of the first employees of the New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Apparently, she did a good job. She stayed with the firm and watched it grow to more than 1,200 lawyers. She stayed on and watched it grow for 67 years.
Bloom's principal job was that of a secretary, an administrative assistant, a girl Friday. It was her job to do for her boss all the correspondence, all the time-consuming things he didn't want to do, or didn't have time to do.
One of those things she did for her bosses over the years is buy stock for them. They would tell her what they wanted, and she would call in the order and, as long as she was putting in an order for them, she put in an order for herself. No, her order was never as big as theirs; how could it have been? After all, she was only a secretary.
Well, that's the way Sylvia Bloom lived her life.
She and her husband never had children, so work was what gave her purpose. Not so many winters ago, when Bloom was 96, one of her colleagues saw her climbing out of the subway and trudging through a snowstorm to work. He stopped and inquired, "Sylvia, what are you doing here?"
Her shocked reply says it all. She said, "Why? Where should I be?"
Well, Bloom died in 2016 and, after a protracted period of time, her estate has been settled.
Settling the estate took a while since it took a long time to contact three brokerage houses and the eleven banks which held Bloom's $9 million. It came as quite a shock to people. Nobody knew, nobody, not her closest friends, not her relatives, and most believe not even her husband knew how much she had salted away.
It was Bloom's lifetime secret, and the thought of the surprised faces that would come after she died must have given her the occasional chuckle.
To be honest, I respect a woman like Bloom. She could keep a secret, which is what people in her position are supposed to do. As is right, she was generous with her bequests after she died.
As I look at Bloom's life, I can think of one other lesson we can learn: don't be like her.
That's right. Don't be like her when it comes to sharing the riches of your Christian faith. Because of Jesus' life, suffering, death, and wonderful resurrection, we have been given an inheritance which is worth more than gold or precious gems.
Our forgiveness, the Savior by our side, the promise of the joys of heaven have made us incredibly rich, and the Savior has asked us to share that wealth with others. It is something our thankful hearts should be glad to do, day in and day out.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, not through any merit of mine have I become rich. Now may I share that faith as freely with others as You have shared it with me. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Corey Kilgannon for the New York Times on May 6, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/06/nyregion/secretary-fortune-donates.html
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In 1947 Sylvia Bloom became one of the first employees of the New York law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.