Treasures in Heaven

from Matthew 6

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust consume
and where thieves break in and steal;
but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust consumes
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

from The Stairway of Existence

Are not
In pursuit of formalities
Or fake religious

For through the stairway of existence
We have come to God’s

We are
People who need to love, because
Love is the soul’s life,

Love is simply creation’s greatest joy.

Hafiz, rendered by Daniel Ladinsky in
The Gift: Poems by Hafiz The Great Sufi Master,
published by Penguin Compass, 1999.

All great faith traditions offer reminders and urgings to turn our attention back to what really matters in life—to treasures of the soul, as opposed to all our seductive earthly possessions. For Christians, these themes gain particular urgency during Lent, the liturgical season that begins on Ash Wednesday, March 9 this year.

We invite you to spend time in contemplation with the following verse from Matthew (excerpted from Ash Wednesday’s Gospel reading). And for a different angle on the same theme, we’ve juxtaposed a few verses from the Sufi mystical poet Hafiz, suggesting what some of those “treasures in heaven” might be.

Then join in the conversation with your own poetic response.

You can enter into conversation with this text by adding your haiku response below.

About Margaret D. McGee


  1. sun break–
    spirals of steam halo
    the stone buddha

  2. James Irving Mann says:

    a smiley face soul
    heart, thoughts, and dreams praise dancing
    heaven on earth (Love!)

  3. Brad Offutt says:

    Tree bends quivering
    before serene clouds’ calm drift –
    One love lives in both

    • Hi Brad — thanks for that offering. I especially like the contrasts in your poem — the first line moves quickly along like a quiver, and the second line just takes its time, drifting along. Then the third brings them together. Nice.

  4. Margaret Trapnell says:

    Treasures consume life
    stealing away hope’s best things
    as hearts yearn for grace.