Trash or Treasure?

For many years, I worked for First Steps of Indiana, which serves children from birth to age three with significant delays or disabilities. I visited about twenty-five homes a week as a developmental therapist. I had the honor of getting to know many wonderful families.

At one home, there was an antique curio cabinet full of different patterns of tea cups and saucers along with old black and white photos and framed hand-written letters. I asked to hear the story behind this unusual collection. This wonderful Mother of six told me that when her great-aunt passed away, she was the last of the relatives to make it to the home as her things were being divided up. Relatives pointed out a cardboard box in the corner of the pantry. That was all that had not been claimed.

She took the box home and began to unwrap china tea cups and saucers. Each one very pretty but each a different pattern. However, she realized the “worth” of her inheritance when she got to the bottom of the box. There she found a stack of love letters from her great-uncle to his precious wife, each with a different postmark. They were letters and photos of a young soldier husband far away from his bride during World War II.

He had mailed her a letter and a cup and saucer from different places in Europe whenever he got the chance. The letters would tell the story of where he was and how he had come across the treasure he so lovingly sought for her.

This wise Mother told me that she almost turned down the cardboard box in disappointment, but she now felt it was saved especially for her.

Once I was holding my son who had Down syndrome and a man came up to me and simply said, “You have not been shortchanged.” I did not know at that time, that this man and his wife had two children with disabilities who had both died at a young age, but had changed their lives forever. Later they sang at Caleb’s memorial service, Lenny Leblanc’s song, “There is None Like You.” This song is sung to Jesus, but I think maybe Jesus sings it back to us. Each one of us is so unique and so precious in His sight.

There is none like You
No one else can touch my heart like You do
I could search for all eternity long
And find there is none like You.



  1. Lanny said

    Oh Karen, there you go again making me cry again, and think again. Thank you. Someday you must tell me all about Indiana. Someday soon.

  2. ldh said

    Dear Karen,

    What a joy to meet you today and for the dear comment you left. I post things that mean something to me and my walk and am thrilled that sometimes these things speak to others as well. I have prayed that you will be filled with blessings and comfort today as you look forward to being reunited with your son.

    Kindly, ldh

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