Sunday, August 18, 2013

Wiping away the grime with a rag and a squirt of Windex

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Well, I know lots and lots about moths and rust after yesterday. And cockroaches and water damage and silverfish chomping through books. We already knew that thieves can break in and not find anything worth stealing except an old bicycle we found in the alley.  

Alan and I spent pretty much all day and night sorting stuff. And moving it from here to there.  And filling the recycle bin, and the Goodwill bin (yes, they take all electronics and use them to good purpose, broken or no), and the rubbish bin, and the stack of things to take to Desert and the stack of things to take to Wakefield, and boxes and drawers and shelves and filing cabinets.

Yep, Alan and I have a problem.  Or ten thousand.

And it could be that it is that we are both so very creative and hopeful that we can see beauty from ashes in any bit of something.  Or that we are so very full of delightful memories of people and places and moments that we rejoice and give thanks to our Gracious God as we savor them yet one more time.  Or perhaps not.

And we both know the stories of crazy aunts who stored once-used tea bags and wove their way through the bolts and boxes until at the very end of the trail they had to remove the one last stack from the small place on the bed in order to crawl up and sleep each night.

And we both know the joy of living with nothing, or almost nothing, with one or two changes of clothing, a stack of cloth diapers and a kerosene lamp that sort of lit up our tiny living room. And sort of smoked. Our rubbish bin was an old Nido powdered milk can than needed to be emptied once a year.  Mostly old razor blades was all we didn’t reuse, rethink or compost.  

And I get to walk through the whole question of stuff and money, and who has it and who doesn’t, three times a day with my very nice middle class American high school students as we read Steinbeck’s The Pearl and watch Nike and iPhone factory YouTubes and consider how then we should live as good stewards and lovers of God’s children.  

And may I hold these tattered treasures lightly.  And offer them up freely to those who have but one shirt or who borrow and do not return. May there always be an extra Elijah plate at the dinner table. I absolutely do not want my heart stuffed in some water heater closet lined with shelves or tucked away in a dusty row of mismatched canning jars.  I long to be light on my feet, wherever He calls, I will follow.

Come Lord Jesus, Come.