Few people can fail to have been moved by the plight of the young 12-year-old boy, Archie Battersbee who died on Saturday 6th August. After almost four months in a coma and a legal battle between his parents and doctors, Archie was taken off life support and passed away a few hours later.
The 12-year-old’s heartbroken mother, Hollie Dance struggled to fight back the tears as she announced the tragic news of his death outside the Royal London Hospital on Saturday afternoon. Since finding her son unconscious back in April, she has lived every parent’s worst nightmare. Just months ago, Archie was a normal, active boy who loved martial arts and gymnastics but that all changed when an incident at his home in Southend, Essex left him with a catastrophic brain injury. It has called into question again what constitutes a life worth living and who gets to decide when it is over?
The family’s love for Archie was described by one judge as the ‘golden thread’ running through the case. Ms Dance, said. ‘I don’t think there has been a day that hasn’t been awful. It’s been really hard’. Any parent hearing of this case can fully understand what she means as Archie along with her other children were her greatest treasure.
Treasure is anything we value above all else and that which motivates us to action. For some it is money, for others it is power and sadly for some it is for fame or attention. There are many things in this world vying for control of our heart. According to Jesus, determining where our treasure is also determines where our heart is. Many people claim to look forward to heaven, but their hearts are not in it—their hearts are caught up in the cares of this world, because that’s where their treasure lies. Matthew 6:21, ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’.
When someone is suffering from dementia, we are asked to gather together a treasure box for them. It could include photographs of loved ones, a piece of knitting or embroidery, a special cup and saucer but it rarely includes any costly material items. We see the face of an elderly person light up when a family member enters the room or when they hear their favourite song or hymn. Why then do we confuse what our real treasure is for most of our lives?