Opinion – Faith in Waipa – By Murray Smith
Stories of people discovering valuable art pieces or treasures languishing in unpretentious places are often reported and leave many of us thinking, “I wish I’d spotted that!”
An under-rated item can sit waiting to be ‘discovered’ for years before some savvy eagle eye recognises its true identity and worth.
In the early 1950’s a couple in Northern Wales bought a little 10 inch high porcelain ‘vase’ for a pittance at a country house sale. They took it home and rested a light bulb on it and topped it with a lampshade. Many years later it was sold to a purchaser who, suspecting it was a bit special, took it in 2016 to Christie’s Auction house. There it was confirmed to be a 200-year-old Chinese Qing Dynasty hat stand- probably made around 1820.
Experts said it could fetch $500,000 at auction. The bidding went crazy and rocketed to double the original estimate after a bidding war erupted in the London sale-rooms. Phone bids added to the excitement before the hammer came down just over $1m to conclude a sale. Not bad for a quirky little item considered to be a ‘table lamp’ for all those years.
An Op Shop I visited this week offered an old discarded Bible free. It made me think of a young man who had a wealthy grandmother. He secretly held hopes of one day being left something in her will upon her death. When that time came to pass, the young man was informed of his grandmother’s intentions.
“To my grandson I leave my Bible and all the treasure it contains.”
Deeply disgruntled, the young man flung his unwanted Bible up onto a shelf belligerently declaring, “That old thing contains nothing of relevance to me…”
It sat ignored, gathering dust for years. Hard times fell upon this man and he sustained major losses and encountered significant personal difficulties. At a particularly dark moment of despair seeking comfort and perspective, he reached up to the shelf for his grandmother’s Bible to see if it might offer hope in his predicament.
Opening it randomly he discovered that interleaved between every page was a $20 note…a lot of money in the day this occurred. Remember, there’s many pages in a Bible!
Stunned the man held the Bible and wept. Not because of his unexpected windfall but because he felt remorse over years of callous disregard for his grandmother’s gesture. It dawned upon him what her clear intention had been.
Remembering her statement in the will, the man realised his grandmother’s twofold purpose…she had in mind the Bible’s inherent ‘treasure’ held infinitely more value than the money she had carefully placed between its pages- yet both had almost escaped him.
Tragically, for multitudes the Bible remains an ignored, undiscovered treasure store. This supernatural book’s pages contain God’s truth, guidance and wisdom for your life.
Take a second look…find a modern Bible translation or checkout The Bible App.