Anna would like to teach herself to read. She found James' Bible open on the front porch and brought it to me, "Tell me some of Jesus' words." I showed her how Jesus' words were red and we flipped through the gospels looking for 'lots of red'. Matthew 6 eventually came into view with its veritable fount of red ink. Wow, Jesus said lots of words here!
She again asked me to read. (Apparently, I was taking too long scanning for something that would make sense to a 3-yr-old going on 13.) I started in on the Lord's prayer (verse 9 - 14) because her brothers have it memorized, she has heard it often in the evenings and could finish each phrase where I left off. Thinking this would exhaust her curiosity, I turned to shut the Word. She stopped me. "Read more!" I skipped to verse 19, "Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven..."
She understands treasures. And she understands moth and rust destroying. We see it everyday very plainly. Stuff gets yucky here. This idea sated her, as she ran off to play (or change clothes again for the umpteenth time), I was left pondering. This week I've been stuck thinking about treasures. Our money. Our media. Our image. What do we treasure? How can you tell? I think we must be willing to sacrifice something for a treasure.
A few years back several friends said we needed to watch "Blood Diamond" because of the similarities with where we work and live. We knew it would be intense, and I felt I had to mentally prepare to watch it. Last week we did it. I survived with liberal use of the MUTE button and blocking out the violence while reading the subtitles below. I fully own my wimpiness when it comes to violent movies. Images stay with me forever, and I just don't need to witness 500 extra murders however fake they may look to some of you. If you haven't seen it and feel ready to, I will at least say this: it portrays accurate and realistic chaos.
Then Sunday we sang in French how 'God is more precious than silver and gold and diamonds.' As I watched Congolese people singing those words, the song took on new meaning for me. Here it is obvious when a cousin leaves his family to work in the mines, make a few dollars and spend it on worldly pleasures. They sacrifice their entire social network (which means so much more here) in search of worldly treasure. It is fleeting. Spent quickly. Temporary. In that movie, and probably still today in many mines people will sacrifice much, many give their lives in pursuit of gold and diamonds. For what? So some American 20-yr-old bride can get a deal on the perfect ring? We can't pretend we're not involved. What do we treasure?
All I'm saying is that I've got a lot to 'chew on' regarding treasure.
"for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."