In one memorable episode, an elderly gentleman brought in a blanket that had hung in his grandmother's house for years. The tradition in the family was that the blanket had once belonged to Kit Carson, so the man thought that it might be valuable. Don Ellis, expert in Indian artifacts, told the man that the blanket could be worth as much as half a million dollars, not because of the connection to Carson, but because of the historical value of this relic merely as an example of Indian artisanship. Ellis called it "a national treasure."
The blanket's owner, identified only as Ted, began to cry. He said, "My grandparents and parents were poor farmers ...." He was thrilled to discover that he possessed such a treasure, yet couldn't help but lament the fact that his family had gone all that time without realizing what they had. They had lived in poverty, while owning something worth a fortune.
I see lots of people living that way every day. So much hurt, so much suffering, such a lack of hope, while God freely offers exactly what they need. They struggle to find strength for the day, while God longs to give them power without measure. They search for meaning and purpose, while God waits with the eternal perspective that makes sense of everything. These people deal with guilt, remorse and shame, while God offers forgiveness and a new start. The treasure is there for the taking. All they have to do is recognize the value of what God has to offer.