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Friday, July 17, 2015

The Expendability of Symbols

If you had to flee on foot from your home tonight because of the sudden invasion of an alien force, what three things would you grab to take with you? Why these three? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 968).

As I have mentioned, I'm in the process of preparing my house to go on market. Much downsizing and clearing out has had to be done. So in a sense I have had to grapple with this question, howsoever in a much less stark manner.  In downsizing one conclusion became very clear--symbols are expendable so long as their meaning is retained. For example, I had many letters written to me by my mother when I was at various stages in my life. These letters all served to show her clarity of mind, purity of effort, practical generosity, the breath of her love and kindnesses–in short--the wide array of her fruit-of-the-Spirit disciplines.  It was not easy to throw these letters in the trash. In a sense it was much like burying my mother all over again.  But I had to ask myself what is really important – that I keep these relics or that I keep her spirit? I know what my mother would say despite my human tears.

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