They’re Tearing Down Mother’s House
By Dorothy Ward-Winters
I am deeply saddened.
The city pasted a red sign on the door: This house is in dangerous condition. It is condemned.”
It’s true the electrical system is outdated, but it still worked. The plumbing was eroded and water constantly seeped out of holes in the lines under the yard. But it still worked. Paint is peeling from the wooden siding, but there’s enough left to show the color–green. Entering the house through the back door is tricky–the porch is sinking on one side. But it’s usable. No one lives there now, but I still treasure the house. It’s the only house Mother and Father owned.
How many other treasures do I have that will soon decay or fade away?
I am reminded of the baby bed we bought for our first child. I envisioned using it for all of my children and storing it in the attic until the grandchildren came. I treasured that bed. I wanted to keep it forever. When our third son outgrew the bed, I was dismantling it for storage when I got an important phone call. The bed never made it to the attic.
A child in our neighborhood was badly burned when he fell into the fireplace. Before he was allowed to come home from the hospital, he needed a bed that would keep him safe from falling, a baby bed. I gave my children’s baby bed to the family. I had a moment of regret, but it didn’t last long. To see that child protected by the rails surrounding him removed all my doubts that this was a Christian thing to do.
Treasures are wonderful things to have around. The memories they stir cause to us to smile, even laugh aloud. Some make us sad and bring tears to our eyes. The items in Mother’s cedar chest, that I now own, remind me of the times I sat with her as we looked through her treasures. Among the many items were a tiny celluloid boy and girl, her childhood toys, and a button from an army uniform her brother wore. These are my earthly treasures, but the greatest treasures I have are stored in heaven.
Matt 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Each dish of food you took to a neighbor, each visit to a sick friend, each time you did a service for a friend or neighbor, you stored treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not decay, nor thieves steal.
I will miss seeing Mother’s house when I drive down the block, but I know it’s only one of those things that moth and rust destroy, and my real treasures are in heaven.
Matt 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.