“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 24:34)

It’s just a box—an empty cardboard box left over from some previous online order that I found in my garage. It’s not very large, only 10 by 13 inches. Allow me a few moments to tell you about the box and what it holds.

Recently, a dear friend was freed from the restraints of her weary earthly body. I was tasked with sorting and packing anything of value from her room at the care facility. Truthfully, it didn’t take long. Life has a way of stripping away all but the essentials toward the end. After several downsizings in the transition from independent living to nursing home care, there was little left—a few business papers, a small music box, some family photos, a plaque with an inspirational saying, and a crocheted piece. She no longer needed the clothes in the closet or the medical supplies scattered around the room. Everything I kept fit into that small box.

At first, looking at that box with its meager earthly goods depressed me. Is this what it comes down to, I wondered. Just a box that will soon be set on a shelf and forgotten? Then I realized that the music box and other small pieces did not sum up my friend’s life. She possessed so much more that would never fit into a box—things of much greater value than the few trinkets she left behind.

How do you put in a box the joy that comes from serving others and helping them find their own personal experience with God? Is it possible to box up love, devotion, and commitment? Or sacrifice and giving? Will a life of prayer fit in a box? No. All those things are too big, too weighty, to fit into any size box we might find.

Matthew 6:19-21 tells us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

It doesn’t matter that the small box of my friend’s possessions will one day be nothing more than dust. They hold no value except for the memories they may bring. What really counts are the treasures she stored up in heaven—the lives she touched, the love she gave, and the legacy of faith that will continue to bear witness for many years to come.

I suppose each of us should ask ourselves, “Am I trying to fill my life with things of no eternal significance? Will my cardboard box be filled with worthless baubles that will soon turn to dust? Or are my true treasures stored in heaven?”



Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.


  1. Marie Ronhovde

    Very good lesson and beautiful tribute to your friend. Again, I am sorry for your loss.

    Love ya,
    Marie Ronhovde