Through an interesting turn of events, southern-born Rose’s (Maria Rosetta) marriage to Dr. Robert Greenhow ushered her from a life of poverty to one of financial and social status. In fact, Rose often hob-nobbed with Dolley Madison and other well-known socialities of her day. It’s said that Rose’s influence helped elect President James Buchanan in 1856.
However, when the Civil War began, Rose became a Confederate spy. Though imprisoned on several occasions, she continued to leak Union information to aid the Confederates. Then, a diplomatic excursion brought her to France, where she wrote her memoirs and sold them for two thousand dollars in gold.
Far wealthier than when she’d arrived, Rose boarded a ship bound for home with her handsome salary sewn into the hem of her gown. But when her ship reached the mouth of Cape Fear River (Wilmington, N.C.), a Union ship gave chase.
Not to be outwitted, Rose and two soldiers hopped on a lifeboat to avoid capture. When the stormy seas capsized the small vessel, Rose and her gold perished.
We know that God’s word says in 1 Tim. 6:6 that our relationship with Him is what brings contentment and is of great gain. I wonder if Rose had ever read this verse: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:9, NIV).
My parents had framed a poem by Charles Thomas Studd on a wall of my childhood home. Its impact is the same as the first day I’d read it. I pray it blesses you too:
By Amre Cortadino
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