Lionel was born to a very poor home. His parents, who had no opportunity of studying, worked from sunrise to sunset in the fields. And, because they had another three children, they lived with great difficulty, often without even enough food to feed their children.
Rejecting that state of misery, at the age of ten, Lionel ran away from home and went to the city, where he received the support of a couple, who full of compassion, decided to help him. So the boy went to school, enjoying himself with the light of knowledge.
He grew up and became a man. The couple, who loved him as a son of the heart, died in a car accident. As there were no other descendants, Lionel received the whole inheritance, which was not great but much more than he had dreamed.
business, investing in bonds, gold and jewels.
He built a small room underneath the house, which he kept locked up and where he put all his treasures.
Lionel married Alice and they had two children.
However, he was very frightened of losing what he had gained with such difficulty. Thus, forcing the family to lead a miserable life, where even food was very orderly. The family was in need of basic things like school supplies, clothes, shoes. And his wife complained on behalf of the children:
- Lionel, our children need new clothes and shoes! They can not go out with these torn clothes!
- Why don't you patch them up? My money is not to spend on nonsense. If they want new clothes, they should buy them!
- But they are small, dear, they need to study. They are not old enough to work.
- Well, when I was their age, I was working in the fields.
Tired of arguing in vain, the poor mother went silent. And so time passed.
One day, Lionel had to travel on business for several days and left no money to the family. Tired of that misery, soon after his departure, Alice went with her children to her parents' house in a distant neighbourhood.
When Lionel returned after one week, he was terrified. He saw that the house had been completely
destroyed by a fire. Seeing him arrive, the neighbours ran to meet him.
- Lionel! Where were you? Your house caught on fire and we tried to put it out, but without success. Nobody can explain what happened! Before we knew the flames had taken hold of the whole house!
Lionel wept in despair. During those days of absence, he greatly missed his wife and little children. Where were they? Certainly, they were dead! God had punished him for his avarice, removing from him his most valuable treasure. He began to shout:
- God, forgive me! I want my family back! Alice, my children, forgive me! What will become of me without them?
The neighbour calmed him down, explaining that the fire fighters found only the burning wreckage of things. He concluded:
- No one saw your family here. I noticed their absence. If we had the keys, the fire department would still have managed to salvage something ...
At this point, Alice and the children arrived. Knowing that it was Lionel's day to return, they came back home and saw everything was destroyed.
Seeing them, Lionel embraced them in tears, thanking God for having preserved them.
- What happened, Lionel?!... - asked Alice.
- I do not know, dear. No one knows the reason for the fire. But where were you?
- As you left us no money and we had nothing to eat, we went to my parents' house
- she said, fearful of the reaction of her husband.
Lionel asked her for forgiveness, ashamed of his action, saying that thanks to it, they did not died.
Then, puzzled, Lionel stared at the destroyed house, where everything was ashes and the smell of things burning was still strong, thinking, where had the fire started?
Suddenly, he remembered! Before travelling, he had gone to his hideout to enjoy his treasures again. As he had not done any wiring there, he had to light a candle every time he wanted to see the little room. And in a rush before travelling, he had forgotten the candle alight!
With a bitter heart, he walked among the wreckage, concerned with his treasure, but found nothing. Certainly, the titles had burned, and the gold and jewels, someone had already found and taken away.
Worried, Alice asked her husband:
- Lionel, what will become of us now without our home, without the resources to live?
For the first time in all those years together, he hugged her, reassuring her:
- Honey, do not worry! Thank God, we have enough to meet the needs of our family!
After involving the wife and children in a big hug, he concluded:
-All that was lost mean nothing. There is no greater treasure to me than you. Our family continuing together is what I pray to God most. Starting today, a new life begin for us. You'll get everything you deserve, I promise!
The children clapped their hands, happy. The father continued:
- And there's more! I miss the farm where I was born. I would like you to get to know my parents and siblings. We will visit them and if they accept, I intend to bring them to live with us.
The kids shared a big smile, happy for the opportunity to meet their grandparents and uncles. And Alice felt her heart filled with new hope on those words. A new life full of love and happiness for the whole family began.
(Psychographed by Celia X. de Camargo on 19/09/2011.)
Translation: Johnny Silveira
Source: O Consolador - Weekly Magazine of Spiritism, Year 5 - N° 230 - October 9,