I recently relocated for the second time in two years. The home into which I moved was mostly furnished and that meant paring down belongings once again. Even so, it still took four to five truckloads and a couple of car loads to transfer everything to the new home.
This was on my mind as I watched a former student—homeless—place all her worldly possessions into a small locker at Jefferson County Community Ministries.
I could not put all my pairs of shoes into one of those compact lockers, much less everything I own!
Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves wealth here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and burglars break in and steal. Instead, store up for yourselves wealth in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and burglars do not break in or steal. For where your wealth is, there you heart will also be.” Matthew 6: 19-21
Living in a motel, a young man—maybe mid-twenties—with a 17-month-old son, came to the food pantry seeking supplies for two days. The phrase–sometimes translated as “treasures in heaven” –reverberated through my spirit as I prepared his order keeping in mind the transient nature of his current situation. With a peaceful countenance, the father gratefully accepted his provisions and I could not help but wonder if he had a better grasp of the meaning of this expression than me.
Certainly, acts of kindness and compassion would qualify for storing up wealth in heaven, literally interpreted, but that runs the risk of believing one can earn his or her way into the hereafter.
Drilling a little deeper, morally, acknowledging our relationship with our stuff and conceding that none of it really belongs to us in the first place seems appropriate. To the point, at least one Native American tribe did not have a word in their language for “give,” there was no “mine” or “yours.” This may be difficult for us to understand in our culture where our personal space and riches seems to be a fundamental right.
Allegorically, the wealth could foreshadow a life where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
All of these explanations and understandings are beautiful yet considering Jesus’s emphasis on the condition of our hearts, I still wondered if there wasn’t something more.
Then I came across a passage from A Course in Miracles:
“Any split in mind must involve a rejection of part of it, and this is the belief in separation. The Wholeness of God, which is His peace, cannot be appreciated except by a whole mind that recognizes the Wholeness of God’s creation.” 6:II:1
And this in John 12:25—
“The person who loves his life and pampers himself will miss true life. But the one who detaches his life from this world and abandons himself to me, will find true life and enjoy it forever.”
There it is . . . do not believe the lie of separation where there is no peace. Relinquish reliance in the illusion and embrace the eternal Light and Love.
This truth is what I sensed in the young man and his child at the food pantry.
“Treasures in heaven” . . .
. . . trusting and knowing Whose we are and to Whom we belong . . .
. . . ever and always abandoning ourselves to the Wholeness of God.