Posted by: Kara Luker | September 22, 2010

Unguarded treasure

In fourth grade, I went on a class trip to the museum of natural history. Trailing the class through the displays, I felt quiet. It all seemed strange and removed to me – extinct animals in strange scenes, dusty artifacts behind glass. The experience reminded me of stories my grandma told of the great depression – memories vivid and living to her, but utterly disconnected from me. I wanted to wrap my head around these things, but they all felt distant, dead, and done with.

The whole memory would have been washed away had I not made it to the gift shop where I found the most breathtaking object I had ever seen. It was a sliver of a geode, brown and rough on the edges, filled with the most lush, living shades of purple in a mesmerizing design. I felt like I was holding a valuable jewel, and I couldn’t understand why, of all the things in that museum, it would be unguarded.

My heart jumped when I saw the price and realized that I could buy this treasure with the small amount in my pocket. The joy of the discovery was crowded out by a panic that it might have been marked wrong. I pictured the cashier saying, “That will be $1,000 please” and that I, with my $2 in hand, would walk away humiliated. In my fear, I set it back on the shelf and bought instead a pencil with a pebble-filled top. I liked the pencil, but left without the thing that captured my heart.

This story makes me think of the love Jesus offers up – so unguarded and within the reach of anyone who sees its beauty, pure and living in the midst of the dusty and corroded things of this world. Yet how often we walk away in fear or ignorance, taking only what we feel is deserved or makes sense. We settle for inferior things when all the while there is this true, wild, satisfying love holding out its hand, calling to our hearts, and saying that it’s ours for free.


  1. Hi Kara,
    Your mother gave me your web blog. What a gift!
    I will look forward to your blogs.
    God bless you

    • Patty, So glad to have you reading the blog! My mom is my biggest fan 🙂 Blessings to you too.

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