This past year my husband and I did a lot of downsizing in preparation for a move from a nine-room house to a five-room house. Part of our downsizing also was simply a recognition that we were at the age when we did not want to continue all the upkeep a large home and a big yard required. At 70 I decided life was too short to spend precious moments taking care of so much “stuff.” In the middle of our downsizing we also decided to move over 350 miles from one state to another to join our youngest daughter and her family.
Putting our house on the market, we began selling, giving away and simply discarding a lot of items accumulated over a lifetime. As we prepared for the move, we stored the boxes in our garage. On the day of our move my husband looked at all we had boxed up and ready for the move and he said,
After 78 years, is this all I have to show for my lifetime?
Immediately I remembered the words of Jesus:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
As I reflected on my husband’s life I realized he has not accumulated a lot of wealth or possessions. Yet, I believe he has many treasures in heaven.
I think of the hundreds he has baptised, the baby dedications, the weddings and the funerals he has conducted. To him, these were not just formal ceremonies but opportunities to share God’s love and rejoice with those who rejoiced and to weep with those who wept.
But I think the one of the greatest things he did was to minister to those in nursing homes – the forgotten ones. He not only visited them, but he spent quality time with them. Watching him interact with the residents of the nursing homes was always a proud moment for me. He took such time to ask about their family, where they lived and worked. After one visit he always remembered their name and many times the names of their grandchildren. Their eyes would light up when they saw him. Sadly, many who had once been very active in their church found they were forgotten after a few weeks in a nursing home.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
So, I believe he has many treasures in heaven.
That did get me to thinking. As the moving company began loading the truck with our possessions, I wondered:
- Where is my treasure?
- If I could see the treasures I have in heaven, would they fit in a duffel bag or would I need a pickup train or a semi-truck to hold them?