An Unexpected Loss

What do these items . . .

1). A Willow Tree figurine

2). A camera

3). A diary

4). A laptop

and 5). A Bible

. . . have in common?

They are all things I grabbed when our house burned down. Flames were swallowing up the walls of my bedroom and smoke billowed up to the ceiling. My eyes stung and my eyelashes started sealing together under the scorching heat, but the adrenalin raced through my body as I frantically looked for the last time around my room. What do I grab?

My Bible was no question. I immediately reached for it while I was still practically asking the question. Then I thought value. Wish though I might, I couldn't grab the YAMAHA keyboard, but I knew right where my camera and laptop bags were. I yanked them out of their places and threw them over my shoulder. On my way out I swung open a desk drawer and pulled out a little purple diary with dried rose petals on the front. The most valuable diary I have. I caught glance of a little Willow Tree figurine on my window. She was holding her hands up in the smoke, her face already darkening with the burning blackness surrounding her. It's how I picture you, Dad told me after I opened the gift, lifting your soul up to God. In pen was written, ". . . Love, Dad  Christmas, 2011". I felt a lump in my throat as I reached out to take it from the window and felt the little angel's chiseled, rough edges under my grasp.  Running awkward from the weight on my shoulders, I limped quickly down the stairs and almost fell into the flames. I made my way through the rooms and into the outdoors, gasping for air . . . safe at last, with my family.  Standing together, we watched in tears as over a decade of memories disintegrated into piles of ash, having no home in which to store themselves but in the hearts of us who held them dear. I closed my eyes and felt a throbbing sensation in my head from all the smoke, from the loss.

Looking up again . . . I saw nothing. 

I heard nothing but the hum of silence in my ear. Turning, I saw a small white glow faze in and out from the laptop set on my desk. I felt cool; confused, but comfortable. 

It was a dream, and there were no flames in the real world. Everything was in its place, and family was still sleeping. The rumble of the furnace started up and warm air pushed its way into the room.

In the darkness, heart still racing, I remembered:

"Luke 12:15, '. . . A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things 
which he possesseth.'"

What would you impulsively grab in a fire? What do those things say about what you value? If everything you have - in fact, everything you just received for Christmas - were suddenly burned, how would you handle it? Do your things define you? Make you happy? The first half of Luke 12:15 says, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness:". It is disconcerting how easily we become materialistic, forgetting our real needs when our material ones are more than met.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,  and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Matthew 6:19-20