~ by Randy Bushey
A life in alignment – this post originally appeared after Pearl’s death, April 24, 2014.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Pearl Winterburn loved to have the Bible read to her. And in her final days, it was my privilege to read to her often. When I was finished reading, she would – without fail – softly utter a single word, almost as a necessary conclusion: “wonderful!”
In her last days, I frequently read from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 to 7). The verse above was the very last of the Bible I read to Pearl, about an hour before she died.
To me, when I think of her life against the backdrop of that verse, this simple concept summarizes her identity.
And it causes me discomfort.
Did you notice the verse references location as a metaphor (“where…there”)? It’s also a declaration of worth – a treasure being something in which great value is placed.
The Lord Jesus stated what is really so apparent – and yet enigmatic, even profound. If you want to discover what is most important to you, then reflect on where you direct your time, your resources – what you think about when you can think about anything? That indicates what you appreciate most, your heart’s passion, what you attach greatest worth to – in other words, where your treasure is.
Question: is my treasure – the place of my treasure – one of eternal consequence?
When most of us do this little diagnostic test a sense of unsettledness or disquiet results. We may subsequently engage in rationalization; or come to the realization that a life-alignment is required.
I naturally think of Pearl when I read this verse because her whole adult life focused on the people of the Congo – how she could assist in delivering their babies (I once calculated with her that she had overseen the delivery of almost 5000 Congolese infants!), alleviating their suffering, educating their children, improving their lives, and leading them to the One who was the love of her life.
The passion of her heart was amazingly consistent for almost 7 decades, demonstrating complete and perfect alignment: heart, purpose, activity, preparation, goal, treasure.
And that evidenced her great love for the King whose treasure was her treasure.
Takeaway: The Lord Jesus was emphatic: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. To those who knew her, that example was Pearl’s lasting legacy.
Pearl Winterburn: November 15,1920 – April 24, 2014