A few days ago I was coming into town and felt kind of sad. I drove past a house whose owner died earlier this year.
As I drove by, people were going in and out of the house, obviously doing what has to be done when someone has passed.
Behind the garage a burn barrel was smoking, meaning things that no one else could use were being discarded. On the front lawn other items were being arranged, possibly for a yard sale.
I was thinking about the lady and how these things that she had collected over the years – her treasures – now have little, if any, meaning to others.
I’m sure we are all like that. We have trinkets and things that many people might consider worthless, but to us are treasures. They are treasured because they bring back a memory of a time that was special, or a gift that was given for a special occasion or maybe just for no reason except someone wanted to show they cared.
But all those items that were removed from her home were only temporary treasures.
I didn’t know the lady real well, but I know that she had other treasures, the ones the Bible tells us to store up in heaven.
Her faith in God appeared to be strong. When her son was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, she knew his healing could only come from God and she asked us to pray for him. We did, and still are.
She cared about people. She knew when someone was hurting, when they needed someone to talk to. Even when she was in the hospital, and then in a nursing facility for rehab, she was concerned about those around her.
For the past few years she would always buy trays of assorted cookies during our Christmas sale. They were not for herself (well, maybe a few were!). She told me she would always send some to her son, and the rest were divided up into little gift packages, to be given to people she knew couldn’t make their own Christmas cookies.
The love, concern and caring were treasures she possessed that had no price tag. They couldn’t be lifted off a shelf in the store or ordered online. They came from within her innermost being.
Each one of us is storing up treasures. From time to time it is good to take inventory of our treasures. When we pass – as we all must do – will the treasures we stored up be remembered by others as things on a shelf, things that can and will be discarded by others? Or will our treasures that are remembered be the ones that can never be discarded – compassion, caring, faith, hope, love, not only for family and friends, but for those who may have been forgotten by society, and most importantly, a steadfast love for God?
There was an old song that said “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Are the treasures we are collecting as we pass through life really treasures, or are they only a pile of trash? Time will tell.
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Thought for the week — For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)