Most of us have dreamed about what we might do if we somehow inherited a fortune. I even began praying about our finances lately, and since a million dollars no longer seems to be a lot of money--especially judging by the national debt--I started praying for God to give us a billion dollars. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a greedy person. I don't want a mansion for myself, nor do I necessarily want a new car. Mel's car is creeping toward the 200,000 mile mark, and mine is over a 100,000, but they're cars that were made to last, and we plan to drive them to the end of their lives. We have a home that is comfortable with plenty of room for us, our assistant, our four rescue cats, and even a place for family members to stay when they come this way. I hate the thought of moving, so I don't want to even think about that. I still have many reasons to want that billion dollars.
The reason I want a billion dollars:
Friends and family are in desperate need. Being a novelist, I've made hundreds of friends in the writing world. Attending a writers' conference is like attending a family reunion. Most of us speak the same language--yes, novelists are weird compared to the rest of the world, but we're quite loveable. Most novelists don't make enough money to live on, and you'd be surprised which ones do. But we don't have employers, a large number of us don't have insurance or any other benefits. We are constantly expected to provide meaningful stories, and do them within short time frames. People think novelists are wealthy. We aren't. Neither are editors. With the huge change in the publishing industry, many have fallen through the cracks, especially some of the highest quality editors in the business, because, unfortunately, too many new writers don't understand how vital editors are to the quality of their novels. At any rate, I have a lot of dear, dear friends who are struggling financially. And did you know that there really is a huge and ugly truth in the working world--age discrimination? Try getting a job when you're nearing sixty. Not only that, try keeping a job when you're nearing sixty. I couldn't help everyone I wanted to if I only inherited a million dollars. I want a billion.
Missouri Baptist Children's Home is losing support because people are out of work. This is one of my favorite charities because I'm a Baptist from Missouri. The Bible commands us to keep ourselves untainted from the world, and to help widows and orphans in their need. There are a lot of orphans out there, and they need to know about Jesus. They also need to be fed and clothed and loved. The more children who can be cared for by Christians who can tell them about Christ's love for them, the more loving adults we can bring up and move into the world desperately seeking the Truth. My calling is to share Christ.
My pastor deserves a raise for once. If we inherited a billion dollars, maybe that could come to pass.
We want to build a clinic. Mel has been an ER doc for over twenty years. The times have changed. He has changed. His dream since he was ten has been to spend time with his patients, help each patient find health, and not to be worked into an early grave. Unfortunately, if he continues at his present speed, none of his dreams will come true. We are in the process of drawing up plans for a clinic where he can hire a couple of employees, spend plenty of time with each patient and yet still be able to make a living, pay his employees and give them health insurance, and help his patients not just find the drugs that will help them, but find total healing. He needs equipment to do this, and medical equipment is very expensive. I want to help Mel see his dreams come true.
This is what I would do if I had a billion dollars. But if I ever receive that money, you'll never know. No one will. I want to give money anonymously.
How about you? What would you do with a billion dollars?