When I was a senior in high school, my grandmother died. I loved her very much, and I was devastated. What made it even worse was that I’d begged God to let her live. I didn’t see why God had to take her away. I thought it was mean.
Later, after the funeral, the extended family went to Grandma’s house to dispose of her belongings. Several of us were in Grandma’s bedroom sorting through clothes when one of my relatives spotted a locket on the dresser. I spotted another one. We asked the rest of the family if we could have the lockets as keepsakes. They agreed.
My locket wasn’t very large, and it definitely wasn’t expensive. But I thought it was lovely. I planned on putting a picture of Grandma in it. I was going to wear it constantly to remind me of her love and kindness. I was drowning in nostalgic memories when one of my young cousins came into the room. I loved my cousin very much. She was kind, tenderhearted, and gentle. She was beautiful inside and out.
My cousin saw the lockets, timidly put her hand on my arm, and asked, “Can I have a locket too?”
My heart plummeted. I knew there wasn’t another locket. Holding my locket tightly in my fist, I went through the motions of looking for another one. I was seventeen, and I’d been trying to grow closer to the Lord. I knew that it was my responsibility to listen for God’s voice. At that moment, I heard the Lord speak clearly. His quiet, gentle voice wasn’t audible, but it resonated deep inside my spirit. God simply said, “Give her your locket.”
My thoughts raged and whirled. My grandma was dead. God could have saved her. God let her die. Now, God wanted to take my locket too. I wanted to wear that locket in Grandma’s honor. I didn’t want to give it away.
Deep inside my spirit, God’s voice repeated, “Give her your locket. Give it to her. Give it to her. Give it to her.”
Anger and pain wrapped around my heart. I couldn’t believe what God was asking. It wasn’t fair!
“Give it to her. Give it to her. Give it to her.”
My cousin’s eyes filled with pain as she nodded and turned away. She didn’t whine or complain. She simply accepted my statement. I felt a wave of remorse. I knew she was hurting just as much as I was. She deserved the locket—she was such a nice person, and she was younger than I was. My grandmother was extremely kind, and I knew she wouldn’t approve of my stingy behavior. I also knew my other relatives would probably have given away the locket if they were in my shoes. Tightening my white-knuckle grip around the locket, I decided that I didn’t care. The locket was mine.
Again, I felt God say, “Give her your locket.”
Remembering my grandmother’s funeral and my vain prayers for God to spare her, I hardened my heart. I wasn’t giving anything else away—not even an inexpensive, department-store locket. It wasn’t fair of God to ask me to! God had taken so much from me already! Glaring up at the ceiling, I shook my head. Mentally, in an extremely snotty way, I told God to shut up and get lost.
A few seconds later, one of my relatives shouted for everyone to look. She pointed at a beautiful, expensive locket hanging from the bedpost. The locket was absolutely stunning. It wasn’t a piece of cheap jewelry—it was an heirloom. Unanimously, my relatives smiled at my young cousin and placed the gorgeous locket around her neck. Grateful tears flooded her eyes.
I looked down at the tiny trinket clutched in my fist. I knew that if I had given my locket away, I probably would’ve been given the heirloom instead. I was extremely happy for my cousin, but I felt horrible inside. Instantly, I realized how greedy and silly I had been.
My cousin wore her lovely locket the rest of the day, and she wore it constantly for years after that. I never put my locket around my neck. The trinket had changed from a beautiful symbol of my grandmother into an ugly reminder of my petty greed. Even though my locket doesn’t bring back good memories, I’ve never thrown it away. In fact, every day, I see it hanging in my jewelry box. I keep that locket as a visual reminder not to ignore God’s voice. I keep it to remind me to be kind, tenderhearted, loving, and generous.
I wanted a locket to keep my grandmother’s memory alive in my heart. I wanted it to remind me of her kindness and love…
Come to think of it—maybe that locket was the perfect keepsake for me to have.
“When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says… Charm can be deceptive and beauty doesn’t last, but a woman who fears and reverences God shall be greatly praised.” Proverbs 31:26 & 30