Monday, May 16, 2011

Treasure Keys

We know each other, but not well.  We see each other in our common place, but we don’t talk a lot.  We smile and are friendly.  I’ve heard things about her, and I think they are true.  Those things have colored my picture of her.  The crayons are not in my hand. 

With my heart I believe that she is a treasure wrapped in a brown paper package.  But I don’t really know.  I haven’t taken the time or created the opportunity to open that package.  If I don’t I’ll never experience her treasure. 

Last summer I read a novel, The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.  It is a story about some maids working in the deep-south in the 1960s.  The maids were not only in charge of house cleaning and silver polishing, they also had significant nanny responsibilities. 

One of the stories in the novel that has stuck with me is a conversation that happens one day between one of the maids and her little charge.  This wise older African American woman was helping the little Caucasian girl understand that her importance and her significance were not in the color of her skin but in what was inside of her.  The maid took two identical pieces of candy.  One she put in a little brown paper sack and the other was put in a little white paper sack.  The child opened both of the sacks to find the same candy in each.  The object lesson from the wiser older woman helped the young child understand that the treasure within is the important thing not what it is wrapped in. 

Sometimes I too need help and the reminders of wiser older women to encourage me to discover the treasures that are sometimes hidden deeply under layers of wrapping.

We do Bible study together.  Sometimes we don’t agree on the interpretation of a particular passage.  Usually I believe I have the right one.  L  This particular day I was quite sure I did and I wasn’t very open to her understanding of the passage.  The study came to a close cordially enough, but I could not rest.  After mulling over our discussion (mulling over ~ often a flashing orange light for me) and some additional personal study, I concluded that she might have been right … or at the very least, I was not 100% convinced of my own initial conclusion.  I shared my experience with her and asked for her forgiveness for my stubbornness.  She graciously granted it and I experienced a bit more of the treasure locked inside my friend.  I’m learning that humility is a key to opening treasures. 

It’s always easier to open a treasure if you have the keys.  Getting to know a person for myself, believing that the treasures are hidden within us and humility have been some of the big keys for me in opening the treasures of my friends.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, …”
II Corinthians 4:7a


  1. Thanks for sharing! Just saying "hi"! We leave for the Dells tomorrow (well, Jeff already left today). Van is packed and house is clean thanks to lots of helping hands! Yay! Love, Sherry

  2. Love the candy analogy! I am filing that one away to use this summer! Oh Sue, thanks so much for taking time to write these!