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. (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)
I sit in the silence of a darkened dining room. Little houses leave few places to escape to. I can hear the crickets outside; they have started their nightly serenade. My husband is watching television too loudly in our room, but tonight it does not bother me. There is peace in my heart, and so there is peace in my home.
This was not the scene last night when I fell exhausted into bed.
About 1pm I was at the mall with my husband, returning something we had bought, when I noticed I had missed a call from my boss, the church pastor. It was Friday, my day off, but I had planned to work from home to make up for the day off I had taken Thursday. However, my husband and I needed a break from stifling humidity that has been plaguing us, and so we headed to the mall for our errand and a bite to eat.
I returned the phone call quickly to discover that our church office had been broken into and "ransacked." The word was repeated at least a dozen times yesterday. There was no other way to describe it. Drawers opened. Paper everywhere. Items misplaced. Ransacked.
We left the mall and headed to the church office, where we looked in surprise at the situation. The police were called as well as a locksmith, and shortly thereafter the members we had received now-stolen tithe checks from that week. The good news, the first we would discover, was there had only been two checks, and one was from my own family. We would also soon discover that although they stole our master key ring, they had not taken our back up key ring which had copies of almost all of them. The police arrived shortly, even sending their forensic unit to take fingerprints. And the first locksmith we called was able to come almost immediately to begin the arduos process of changing a lot of locks.
But the whole situation was unsettling. Our pastor described the feeling of being "violated" because trinkets were stolen off his desk that, though of little monetary value, had high sentimental value. It reminded me of a similar experience we had last October. You can read about it here: WHO STOLE MY KIT KATS AND FAITH IN HUMANITY? We did the best we could to put the pieces together, and decided the rest could wait. We left frustrated and frazzled.
A few hours later, after watching some television with my husband, I stumbled to my bed, so tired that I left my phone in the livingroom. I wanted nothing to tempt me to stay awake.
The next morning I awoke to a string of missed texts. Just after I fell into my bed, our pastor's daughter had been in a dangerous situation while out with some friends. The Pastor had texted the leadership team to ask for prayers as he and his wife tried to find out what was happening. Of course, by the time I read the string of texts, the situation had been resolved for nearly 12 hours. But all the same, I sat there with tears in my eyes this morning, thinking of the far greater loss I would have felt if events had turned out differently. It put the entire previous day in perspective.
There are worse things than stolen money.
There are worse things than broken posessions.
There are worse things than trespassed property.
Far worse things, indeed.