The Richest People on Earth
by Kerry Pocha - 1997
They were the richest people on earth, but all their wealth could not bring back their only son. Their only wish since he was born was to protect him from the world they had to live in as children and give him everything they had worked so hard to provide for him. Their son’s only wish was to have a companion to share his good fortune with. Trying to force their son to be happy with the things they could provide only pressured him to run away. Ever since he left, they prayed every night to see him again.
One late night, while watching the news, their prayer was answered. The report said he was a volunteer at the local homeless shelter. He arrived early that day to start breakfast to find the building burning. He called the fire department and rushed in to pull out the sleeping transients. On one trip in to check for another man (who had already escaped out the back) he had been overcome by the fire. Everyone agreed this man was a true hero, but his parents only knew that their son was gone. Wishing to know more about his death they contacted the reporter and got a list of the people their son had rescued.
A few days later their estate guards called them to the gates. At the gates they were shocked to find a mob of homeless people waiting. Saddened about the loss of their son they were unable to deal with these … these … bums. The father was about to have the guards disperse the mob when out of the crowd stepped a man they recognized! The man who had been interviewed by the T.V. reporter because he was the one who had escaped the fire by fleeing out the back door. Telling the guards to allow him passage, the parents ran to meet the derelict. Did he know their son? If so, for how long and how well? Did the hobo know if their boy had any other friends? Oh, they had so many questions to ask. What a stroke of luck! Perhaps some of the others knew their son as well.
The wealthy couple called to the crowd, “Did any of you know our son?”
“YES!”, they cried.
This was fantastic! It was unbelievable! How did so many know their son? “Did our son extend friendship to any of you?”
Again the entire filthy assembly responded, “YES!”
Motioning to the one poor hobo they recognized the parents asked, “Why do you believe our son was your friend?”
“Because he gave his life to save me from the fire.”, replied the bum obviously.
Accepting his wise answer they invited him past the guards to join them in mourning their son’s death.
A look of profound confusion came over his face. Then this ragged man, smelling of old cheap wine said, “But, I’m not here to mourn him … I’m here to live with you’se guys.”
The couple were dumfounded. The gall! HOW DARE HE INTRUDE ON THEIR GRIEF WITH THIS SELFISH REQUEST! While they stood in mute outrage the reprobate carefully pulled a photo from his holey jacket and handed it to them. The mega-millionaires gazed at the photo. They turned it over and over in trembling hands. They handed it back and forth between them. Finally the asked the hobo, “How have you attained this photo of our son?”
“Your son offered them to a lotta people, but only me an dese guys accepted dem.”
Smiling and teary eyed, the twosome opened the estate’s entrance wide. Then laughing and backslapping every person with a photo the couple asked the rabble into their home to live for as long as they wished.
The guards stood flabbergasted. Did their employers just lose their minds? Stooping to the ground one guard picked up a stray photo and inspected it. It was an 8″X10″ photograph of the wealthy heir. This was not a reason to support a load of grubby freeloaders for the rest of their lives! Turning the picture over the guard read the words to his fellows:
This is the person I left you to find. They have been a friend and companion to me and I love them. I have spoken to them of how you love me & how your love for me has shown me how to love others. I love this person as I love you and have dedicated myself to serving their needs. I would give all I have to make them happy and my life to save theirs. If you have received this photo, I am no longer able to care for my beloved friend. So I have written you begging that you receive them as you would me, and love them as you have shown me love.
With love and sincere thanks,
This short story falls utterly short of describing the depth of love and sacrifice God & His son, Jesus, have for us, but I pray that everyone who reads this story will have a better understanding of how much they love us. I have accepted Jesus Christ’s gift to me and I pray that he will speak as highly of me as the son in the story did of his friends. May you too, accept Jesus Christ’s free gift of love & forgiveness, and may we meet again inside the gates to our heavenly father’s abode. Amen.
Written by Kerry Pocha, 1997±