Yesterday I had another of those conversations about what some of us have come to call “bigger barns.” As “girls” often do, we were admiring someone’s lovely clothing. As is also frequently the case, the woman in question said she found it on sale and just couldn’t leave it in the store. She then proceeded to lament her full closet and her intention to clean out and let go of things she hadn’t worn in more than a year. We all agreed we tend to wear the same few outfits, maybe pairing different blouses with skirts or slacks but eventually noticing that we wear what is comfortable and those items in our closet that we like best. So why do we hold on so tightly to all the rest…?
I can easily join in to these conversations, amazed that I have accumulated such a large wardrobe. To be fair, most of my closet is filled with “hand-me-overs” – lovely clothes that have belonged to my sister or a close friend when they were new. Still, the point can be made that too much is always too much. What shall I do with all of this as we move from summer into winter? I could just invest in a couple of (additional) storage bins, the kind that fit under a bed or on a shelf…”Bigger barns!” I hear my inner voice shouting as I read the lectionary gospel text for today (LK 12:13-21). This time of purging my wardrobe – which I do hope will actually happen today – I will be mindful of all those who have “lost everything” in recent hurricanes, floods and fires. Moreover, I will hear again some of those people who, in the midst of their lament, say that “God is good; all of my family has survived.” It’s then that I hear Marty Haugen singing, “Where your treasure is, there your heart shall be. All that you possess will never set you free. Seek the things that last; come and learn from me. Where your treasure is your heart shall be.”