broken owls

I have this owl. It’s small and beautiful and black and teal. It holds a tealight candle and it’s old. Normally, this sentimental girl hoards unnecessary trinkets because of the story behind these dust collectors. But this owl, there’s no story about it. It was in a box in the storage room at my parents’ and I happened upon it. I didn’t even like owls. But it was love at first sight.

So I took this owl, because I treat the storage room at my parents’ like my mom’s jewelry box, free for all. For three years this owl sat on my bookcase, collecting dust. How beautiful.

Except I live in a furnace, also known as a small apartment on the 10th floor. And “cool” is 77 degrees. So E leaves the window open. It’s a good thing, except that we live in the city windier than Chicago. As chance would have it, one night the owl blew off the bookcase and shattered.
And I was upset. Stupid upset. With myself, the wind, E, and the furnace I live in. Foolish.

How tightly I clung to and treasured this owl! Unbeknownst to me, this little owl nestled itself deep into my heart. In the midst of my frustration, a phrase came to my mind:

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We all have owls. Dust collectors, greenbacks, post-nominal letters, kith and kin, idols. These owls entangle our emotions, often so subtly. Our human hearts are idol factories. Our hearts are wells gushing forth all issues of life. How we long for satisfaction and security. How enthralled we are with the temporary. How quick we are to stockpile the fleeting things of this earth.

The place where our treasure is, is the place we will most want to be, and end up being.

So may the Spirit blow these owls off the bookshelves of our lives and remind us of real treasure. May the scales on our eyes be shattered as we see our hearts more clearly. May worms and moths destroy. May burglars ransack and pilfer. May the heaping up of stuff just stop. And may we catch a vision of real Life. May we gaze upon the Eternal and store up treasures in heaven.

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