In today’s society there aren’t many things that seem valuable. We live in a time of excess and expendable items. There are few things that are cherished.
However, this past year our Church unearthed a treasure.
Our Church family was given an opportunity to serve in southern West Virginia this summer. As the crew descended upon Clendenin, they were over-taken by the sight of complete and utter devastation. Families lost everything. Businesses were flooded and nothing was salvageable. Schools were destroyed and communities were leveled.
God blessed our Church in so many ways (which He tends to do when folks act as His hands and feet). Businesses donated materials for a next to nothing and the Church opened its wallets and homes to donate goods. The Church took over 20,000 pounds of supplies to help those in need. People took vacation days from work and spent time cleaning, repairing and serving in many ways in Clendenin.
Through the help of some local volunteers, our group was directed to a house that was ravaged by water.
This is where our brothers and sisters encountered a rare jewel. They met a sweet lady named Miss Ruby. Our MCOC family worked in churches and in homes; however, the workers gave most of their time and their hearts to Miss Ruby.
Miss Ruby lost most everything to the flood. She and her old cat (whom she refers to “the Girl”) spent two days in the attic waiting for the waters to recede. Miss Ruby’s son saved a few precious photographs but there was not much else to hold on to. In meeting Ruby, you wouldn’t know that she was a lady who had recently lost everything. She is a happy, talkative woman that doesn’t know a stranger. From the little she has, she always offers to make her visitors lunch or offers candy. Many folks would focus on the possessions that had been taken, but Ruby focused on the family she was gaining in Christ. As floors and ceilings were repaired, relationships were built. As furniture was moved in and paint was dressing up the new walls, friendship took up residence in the hearts of the volunteers.
As the Church came to give, they received a priceless prize. They were not only taught, but they were shown in a life being lived what scripture instructs:
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 13:19