Last night was a rough night. I couldn’t sleep and my eyes were aching, so reading was out of the question. I picked up my current book by Nicholas Sparks and tried a couple of times, but my eyes weren’t going for it. I try to use things like reading as a distraction when I’m in pain, but this was a no go.
When my nurse, Tamara, came in at one o’clock to check on me and asked how I was doing, I said I’d be great if I could read my book. She looked at my book lying on the table and told me that she loved Nicholas Sparks. We began to talk about some of his different books, how we loved the books but not the movies and other authors we enjoyed. I shared with her the story that I am working on and she told me about some poetry that she writes.
Before I knew it, thirty minutes had passed and I was finally getting sleepy. I thanked her for talking to me and soon drifted off to sleep.
When I woke at five, I picked up my book and finished reading it. When Tamara came in at six, I handed it to her and told her I hoped she enjoyed it. She looked startled and said, “I’m a slow reader. I better not take it because I may not be done with it before they release you.”
I told her no, that I wanted her to keep it…a thank you for talking with me and distracting me from my pain earlier. And, as much as I liked the book, I feel that the best thing about a good book is passing it on. I could tell she was touched by the gesture and even though she downplayed helping me, I can tell you, it meant a lot to me. What a blessing she had been!
But you know…there are some books I keep for myself. Ones that I pull out and read once a year or so. You know, when I was growing up, I didn’t live near a library, like I do now. I bought books with my allowance and treasured them, like a good friend. I still have many books from my childhood. In fact, I have an entire set of the Bobbsey Twins Adventures. They have been in a box for 30 years. And what good are they doing there?
I’m reminded again of the things I hold onto…the things that I place so much value in. Things of worldly value. My “creature comforts.” Even things that are sitting in our storage room, year after year. Why do we cling to such things?
Don’t store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them. Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them. Matthew 6:19-20
I need to be more mindful of my treasures and where I am storing them. Are they like my Bobbsey Twin books, waiting for the moths and rust, or thieves to take them away? Think of all the children that could have enjoyed those books over the years. Yes, I could save them for my grandchildren. But what if they, like my sons, have different interests and the books sit for another 30 years?
God, thank you for Tamara and her willingness to share with me this morning, when I so desperately needed a distraction. Thank you for bringing to mind a simple gesture of thanks…and reminding me once again that my treasures on earth are momentary pleasures…but my treasure in heaven is for all of eternity.