Hidden Riches

I have never spent any time in Korea during the month of June until this year. Usually I go to America to visit family and friends at the end of May and return at the beginning of July after attending the Greater Grace International Convention in Baltimore. Not so this year. On May 9, I taught the last Introductory Greek class of the semester then boarded a limousine bus for Incheon International Airport to catch an Air Canada flight to Toronto and, later, Boston. It was wonderful to be greeted by my mother and father at Logan Airport and to drive home to Maine.

The reason for this earlier than usual trip home was a promise I made to my nephew Noah three years ago before moving to Korea. I promised to attend Noah's high school graduation if possible.
Because Pastor Steve DeVries was in Korea, it was possible for me to go home for three weeks. I spent time with my parents...
....and with my brothers and sister and their families,




visited and spoke in the churches in Gorham, Maine

and Baltimore, Maryland,
spent a day at Greater Grace Christian Academy,



and spoke at two other Bible studies in Maine.

I went to the house where my grandmother lived for decades until she went to heaven the week before Easter. It was odd being there without her. It was like the house was a body without a soul now that she was no longer living there. I was welcome to take something from the house to remember her by, but I didn't think there was anything there that I could put in a suitcase and carry back to Korea. I decided to poke through the kitchen, the room I most associated with my grandmother, and there I found this...

...my grandmother's recipe box. The scratched tin box and worn index cards don't look like much, but to me, this is a precious treasure. Here, in my grandmother's loopy cursive handwriting, are recipes for some of the foods she made that I enjoyed while I was growing up. I was surprised that nobody else in my family had claimed this, but I was glad they had not.

"I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel."
Isaiah 45:3

This verse describes how I feel not only about this recipe card box, but about most of the people in my life. My friends and family members are "just plain folks," ordinary, down-to-earth, unpretentious people. But God has given them to me. They are riches hidden in plain sight, overlooked by many, but treasures nonetheless. 

My first Sunday back in Korea, God brought some treasures to our church for the morning all the way from Kansas City, Missouri. 
My hope is that God gives me the spiritual eyesight to recognize treasures when I see them and to not be familiar and take people for granted. 

I have heard pastors speak from Matthew 13:44 about the treasure hidden in the field being you and I and God being the one who sold all to buy the field to gain the treasure. I also hope to see myself as God's treasure, to recognize my value in God's eyes and live in that truth.

I won't be seeing people at the International Convention later this month (I will be here in Korea), but I will be back in America at the end of September to participate in my niece Kayla's wedding.
If you want to see me before then, you know where to find me. You're always welcome to visit Korea!

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