Tuesday, September 7, 2010

hold loosely

I've been looking for my purse all morning. I just realized an hour ago that I left it at a Panda Express a state away. It's my favorite purse, a purse from Anthropologie that my mom bought me during Lucy's 8-hour surgery stint in Cincinnati. Surgery was over, we were relieved and naturally, we went shopping. My mom saw me ogling a purse with a pricetag I would never spend on myself, and she grabbed it and took it to the register.

I loved that purse.

In that purse as well were my favorite earrings given me by my friend Alyssa, simple gold hoops. Lost too was the coolest bracelet from my friend Alisa, the $200 camera I bought just 6 months ago, and the custom camera case my friend Melanie had given me. Add to that the check from my grandma for travelling expensies, and I am one sad girl.

Sadder still was the reaction I got from Panda Express when I called, the manager quickly saying there was no purse found and hanging up on me. It made me angry.

The day I lost the purse I got to visit with my dear aunt Mary. She's the woman who definitely helped carried me through my pregnancy with Lucy with her endless encouragement. She's the one who, while the South Dakota breeze blew over the ridge in front of her house, whispered me her fears as we sat and wept in white Adirondack chairs. She has just been diagnosed with cancer.

A boy drove by on a bike, a woman walked her dog right on past. Did they know the gravity of the conversation? Did they know the heartache entrenched within the walls of this sacred conversation?


The boy was thinking of dinner; hoping for a McDonald's meal with fries. THe woman was replaying a conversation she'd had with her husband in which she pointed out his most annoying flaws. She was relieved she'd let him have it; that oughtta teach him.

I've been obsessing over my purse and the jerk who took it. What right? Not fair! Those were my things. my memories. So much for the MAC lip gloss I mortgaged my house for or the darling "cartwheel in a field" photos of Lucy and Asher I was hoping to make a collage of in the entry way.

And so much for control.

I've been thinking alot about my aunt and her fortitude against an unseen foe. I've been thinking about what it means to be in the world and not of it, a quality I see shining so brightly in her...even before this devastating diagnosis.

That priceless conversation in those Adirondack chairs ripped open notions preconceived, it left me speechless as she posted questions I could not find breath to answer.

As I get on Craigslist to scout out $40 cameras and try to renew my slightly shattered faith in the good of humanity, I think of which $7 Target clearance purse hanging in my closet will be my new one. And I ask myself, and I ask you:

Where is your treasure? Your house? Car? Figure? Health? Spouse? Bank balance? Children?

You're a fool if you believe that any one of them could not be ripped from your grasp in the blink of an eye. You're a fool not to realize that the sign of true maturity is to recognize this truth, accept it, and act on it.

How will this truth, this admonition to hold loosely to the things of this earth, change how you live? Do you have an answer?

Matthew 6:19
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, rather store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal."

What'll it be?


Michelle said...

I love this Rachel. Funny how Justin and I are facing an issue right now financially that I am having trouble walking in faith. Amazing how sometimes God brings a message like this and somehow it just all makes sense. Thanks for that.
And...sorry about your purse and other memorable possessions. That just sucks.

Cole said...

I am sorry to hear about your purse and the meaningful belongings it held. It is ridiculous that some creep would take it while you were trying to enjoy a little take-out!

More than that, I'm sorry about Mary. I've felt and seen things I've held dear taken away, you are exactly right...they're not here. It doesn't stop us from loving anyone til our hearts almost burst, but it sure does keep in check with your priorities. He is truly what matters. He is all that matters in the end.

I'm thankful for your conversation with Mary, it is more precious than most can know. Travel safely my dear friend.

alwaysbusymama said...

Which Panda Express?

PS I've had my purse stolen at 3 times. Once it had my retainer in it. HAHAHA ON THEM!!!

Mary said...

I have no words after reading your post. My falling tears will have to speak for themselves. If our conversation in any tiny way lessened the very real and justified feelings of anger at the theft, then I am humbled that God could use my pain for you. The whole thing sucks, but in the end, you still have your mom, who gave you the purse, you still have Alisa and Alyssa and Melanie, and you still have your precious little ones to take more pictures with. In the end, that is all that matters. I love you.

ib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ib said...

If you are wondering why I deleted a post, just to post again, it is because I am somewhat of a dope. All I wanted to do is say thank you for this post. Michelle took the words out of my mouth when she spoke of how God sneaks in and gives you just what you need to get through troubled times, and your post is what I came across. Again, thank you. If you are bored someday and have nothing better to do, I would ask that you visit my blog, The Habitual Hobbit. I am trying to connect with people that have common interests that jive with mine. I hope this finds you well.
On a side note, I will forgo the lip gloss, My wife thinks that I am woman enough already. :) Nate

deannaburasco said...

So true...things that you adore and cherish can be instantly taken away. Life gets so busy, we forget those things and take too much for granted. I really enjoyed our time together this morning just hanging out. The to-do list that almost canceled this morning is still there but not nearly as important! I treasure your friendship!

britta said...

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal, rather store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal."

Thank you for this Bible passage. I truly needed it at this moment!

Vie said...

you realise the importance of something when you don't have that something in your life anymore.