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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Think (09/02/10)

TITLE: Heavenly Treasure
By Heather MacInnis


“I think I’ll paint that piano.”
Karen abruptly stopped playing and spun around to face the older lady crocheting in the rocking chair. “Mom! You’re not serious?”
“Why not?”
“It’s an antique.”
“Painting antiques decreases their value.”
“Are you planning to sell it?”
“Of course not. It’s been in this family for generations.”
“Then what difference?”
Karen raised her eyes heavenward in a silent exasperated prayer. She took a deep breath and tried again. “Mom, why on earth would you want to paint it?”
“Well, it’s time to houseclean in here, and this old furniture is getting kind of drab looking. I think some new wallpaper and a coat of paint on the piano, the end tables, and these chairs will brighten things up a lot.”
“And cover up all that beautiful wood?”
“The varnish on them is so old and dark you can’t see the wood anyway. I suppose I could have them sanded and varnished. It would be a little more expensive though and not as bright and cheery as I had hoped.”
“Mom,” Karen said slowly with a sigh. “That would destroy their value just as much as painting them.”
The older lady put down her crocheting. “Karen, my dear, the value in these old pieces has nothing to do with money. It’s about memories—me rocking you children to sleep in this old chair, you all practising on that old piano and playing checkers and chess on those tables. When I die, I can’t take these pieces of furniture with me. They’re just tools to be used for this breath of time on earth. Why shouldn’t I paint them and brighten up my life a bit? Surely my happiness is more important than some old furniture that you say you don’t want to sell anyway.”
“Don’t you think it is important to preserve history?”
“I do, but not in the way you’re talking about. Tell me, what’s more important—the piano, or the music that was written and passed down to you? For me, keeping the music alive is more important than the piano. You know as well as I do that the Bible teaches over and over again that earthly possessions are of little value in light of eternity. As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s far more important to respect your ancestors and the values they stood for than to just keep their furniture without ever doing anything to it. If the older generation was around now, they’d probably want to change things up a bit themselves.”
“Oh Mom, I don’t know.” Karen lovingly ran her hand over the piano and started to softly play ‘Amazing Grace’. Suddenly she stopped, spun around and went to give her mother a hug. “You know, Mom, I think you’re crazy, but I love you. How about I call Susan and Judy, and we can have a painting party this weekend? We’ll redo the whole room however you want it. We’ll even paint flowers on everything if you like.”
“Really?” Mom grinned as she resumed her crocheting. “You know, I’ve always wanted to try stencilling.”

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 KJV

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/11/10
This is a sweet story. It reminded me of my mom who refinished antiques and often groaned when she saw layers of paint. When she stripped it down and saw the beauty of the wood I understood her groans. But you made some great points.
Kate Oliver Webb 09/14/10
A sweet mom here, and a big-hearted daughter. I felt the warmth and love in the room. The point wasn't hammered into the ground, just nicely laid out in a lovely story. Good job!
Sarah Heywood09/15/10
This was nice! As an antique lover I could understand the daughter's initial dismay at her mother's desire to paint the furniture. But what a generous, loving heart she showed herself to have!

You had a nice, strong, opening sentence - always good for "hooking" the reader.

Consider including more "white space" between thoughts. It makes the piece more visually appealing and easier to read.

Great job!