We walked into the room. My friend and I.
A lifetime of stuff piled in front of our eyes.
We were here as an offering…
His hands… His feet
A timid offering in the very middle of this field of grief.
We came in service…
to honor a woman I had never known
to help a man… a friend to my warrior… a man I had just met
to serve a God my eyes have never seen
My friend and I, we stopped… breath gripped in our throats, hearts heavy… we prayed.
Help us to be like You
We looked at each other, having just wrapped arms around little ones… little ones who face this earth with a brave daddy… while a mama prepares a home in heaven.
this is hard
please guard our hearts… keep us focused… pour Your water through us
We went to task. A mama’s work. Sorting, cleaning, organizing, boxing, moving, trashing, saving…
She, a mama like us, saving her treasures. Baby blankets, toddler shoes, tooth fairy secrets, photos, cards… the treasures we mamas save… the things we can’t bear to part with… fearing that parting with the things means parting with time. This time… now. Parting with the time of our little ones’ youth… the precious baby years… the years that our young ones run, love uninhibited, arms wide-open… to mama.
He guarded our hearts for a time. Through hours, He pointed us to our work.
Then a memento… a smiling photograph… a joy-filled time… peeked through the piles.
It could be mine
The clothing, left on hangers, the gear of her warrior husband, the children’s clothes… in all imaginable sizes. She, a warrior’s wife… a mother of six…
it could be my house
These things we all love to save. We packed her things… these memories we long to hold… into boxes. The treasures left behind, we tucked away, to ease a heart-break at their mere sight.
I save all the same things. I don’t know why really. Perhaps a “pack rat” tendency inherited from parents who lost everything while a world was at war? Life as a warrior’s wife requires the thinning of things… but, I save nonetheless.
I save every memory I can
in the hopes that I will somehow be able to come back
Come back to the same place in my mind… the place I am joyful, the place I love so much… this place of motherhood.
I save for my own. The treasures I hope may trigger a childhood memory… tucked far beneath… only to be brought into the light… by one small trinket.
I sat on her floor… sifting through her prizes of motherhood. I prayed for her children… for her husband. I prayed that the memories never travel too far from their young minds… until they can see her loving mother eyes again.
I held her things… and felt my own mortality… I held it in my hands.
These things. They do matter. What I saw in this sifting and packing up a life…
The things stay here… the memories that they trigger are the treasure
The greatest treasure she left them? The thing I have seen most of all… in their young eyes…
She taught them about Him. She surrounded them with Him. They know where mama is… where she waits for them… they know she waits with Him…
this is her greatest treasure
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.