Friday, December 9, 2011

Treasures in Heaven - The Teacup Story

Matthew 6:20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal...”

“Treasures in Heaven” is the title of this entry, but it should really be “The Teacup Story.” When I was a little girl, I would visit my grandma who did not own a television at the time. Finding things to do there could be a bit of a challenge, but being the creative and resourceful kid that I was, I would use her drapery hooks to create interesting centerpieces, or played dress-up with her outdated hats and dresses... then I’d move on to study and admire her small teacup collection. There was one in particular that captured my attention. It was yellow and white, with fancy gold trim, and had legs which would nestle into its matching saucer. I never considered the actually cost of this teacup, but was enamored with its beauty, as well as the story that went along with it – as it was a very precious heirloom.

Catching my curious gaze, Grandma would point out the beautiful teacup and say, “Do you see that cup over there? That is a very special cup. My great-great Grandma gave this cup to my Grandma when she got married. Then she gave me the cup when I got married. And some day, I will give this cup to you.” As time progressed, I grew up, I got married, we had kids, we moved away – but whenever we came back, we would always make sure we visited Grandma. It was after her second husband had passed away, and we were there for a visit that I remembered she had a lovely teacup collection. I went to point out the unique cup to my daughter, when I noticed that it was missing. “Oh,” Grandma said, “I hope I didn’t do anything wrong.” She bit her lower lip, and looked like her heart sank a bit.

Apparently my step-grandpa’s granddaughter had helped her out with something and in order to thank her, Grandma told her that she could pick anything she wanted from her china cabinet. I reassured Grandma that it was fine, but deep down I was very hurt. This was one of the very few heirlooms in this family, and now it had gone to another. It took a while for me to deal with this oversight, but I had to realize that it was just a teacup. It was hers to give to whomever she wished - and it was just a teacup. What would I do? Set it somewhere behind glass and look at it every so often? I didn’t need that to remember my grandma’s kindness, generosity, joyful spirit and what a faithful prayer-warrior she was. That is the heritage that she passed down to me that I will cherish and remember. This is what is valuable in life. And one day I’ll see her in heaven, with no sorrows – and an existence that will far outweigh any heirloom of any worth.