Last night before bed, Jack found my keys, unlocked the storage room, and smashed a fair number of light bulbs.
This morning, he poured out a new bottle of hand soap, shredded some Nerf darts, and irrevocably made off with my deep conditioner and my dry erase markers for teaching.
Our day to day life may as well feature Jack lighting twenty-dollar bills on fire. It’s death by a thousand cuts, as Jeff likes to say.
This is why our house and our car and the things in them are merely tools to shepherding our children through life. They mean nothing, except in a purely practical sense.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal AND WHERE JACK SHREDS AND ANNIHILATES: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust NOR JACK doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” Matthew 6:19-21.
Where is my treasure? It’s certainly not in a well-appointed home with fine finishes. It’s not in a luxury car. Frankly, this is a gift that Jack has given me, though it sounds counterintuitive. I think the natural woman version of Megan would easily get caught up in that worldly business.
I’ve always thought that Jack blesses me this way. Even while he is a wrecking ball on the material world, he’s taught me to care about people, relationships, humility, giving—eternal things.
If that sounds smug, I assure you, I do not feel smug. I live in a house that has good bones, but which is falling apart—the sinks, toilets, cabinetry, walls, flooring, banisters. It’s been beaten, raked, clogged, warped, and dismantled. It’s still standing, but it’s a wreck.
Walking through the mess doesn’t make me feel holy or enlightened. It makes me feel annoyed and tired. It makes me wonder how we will ever fix it all.
I keep reminding Jeff, to whom the house is an albatross hanging from his neck, that WE AREN’T REFUGEES. WE HAVE A HOUSE. IT WORKS. It keeps us warm, dry, and sheltered. It isn’t pretty, but it’s enough.
We have what we need, and we have learned not to cling to material things.