The toe of my boot shifted the sodden pile of ash. I hoped to find some semblance of my former lifeÖlife before the fire.
The singed odor still remains on my hands, hands that struggled, coming out of the dense smoke, striking the window to free myself from the burning structure.
Funny how only the foundation survived. Built with these same hands, stone upon stone, stacked into a strong, sure footing, I built this mansion.
Now, all is lost, every dream gone up in smoke. The desolation enveloped my heart and mind, numbness settled as a cloud.
I shoved my hands into my pockets and feeling rage rumble up from my belly, I swiftly kicked a smoldering pile. My foot struck something hard under the gray mass.
My hand found a stick and pushed away the debris to find a black metal box. I must be in the walk-in closet of my bedroom for Iíve found the box I had tucked in the bottom of the cabinet.
Carefully, I shoved the slightly singed box away from the leftover embers. Using the edge of my coat I lifted the lid.
Memories floated out as if to escape their confinement of years. The contents were artifacts of long ago. So long, in fact, that I had pushed them from the corners of reality to keep the pain away.
A Christmas family picture stared at me. A happy, loving familyÖhusband, wife, two boys and a baby girl surrounded the tree with beaming faces. Under the photo laid the old family Bible, and in the bottom of the box, my gold wedding band. Mementos discarded long before greed, power and lust overcame my life.
I carefully took the items over to the bench under the old oak tree. Lost in the thoughts of yesteryear, I mourned for what might have been.
I looked down and placed the ring on my finger. It still fit. I placed the picture in my pocket and picked up the Bible. Flipping the gilt-edged pages, the book fell open to I Corinthians 3:11 (NIV).
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each manís work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss, he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
Truly, I now know this. Itís time, time to return to the sure foundation.
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