In a daze, she sat there on the floor staring at the box between her sprawled legs.
She thought she’d give this box away. Each time she’d opened it, she put something in – never looking at the things she placed in it before. Half of what it contained, she’d long since forgotten; many of the items having been tossed in without much thought.
The box had been buried in the bottom of her backpack; it was small, but it was heavy. When she discovered it beneath the tissues and notebooks and pencils and reading materials, the Chapstick and reading glasses and a change of clothes for the baby, she felt the same confidence she’d had each time she opened the box. Putting in something new was completely different than the notion of looking at its contents.
She had no desire to lift the lid or to dig through the contents. She just wanted to be rid of it. Perhaps it’s a form of denial or a measure of faith, but by placing the items in this particular box it was supposed to lighten her load and make her journey through life more pleasurable. It was no one’s methodology but her own.
“How many times must I give it all away?” she whimpered.
Alone with her thoughts and the tears she refused to surrender, she sat at her end of the negotiation table. Again, lifting her outstretched hands, she wrestled a bit with how weighty it was.
“Here! For crying out loud, take this stupid thing,” she insisted. Within seconds, her muscles trembled, “It’s too heavy for me, why do You keep giving it back to me?”
“I can’t give back something you’ve never let go of, Helen.” Grasping the box firmly and sitting down with her, He said, “Let’s see what we have in here.”
“Those things are too heavy for me,” she protested, resisting the idea of allowing Him to open the box right there in front of her. He was supposed to do something with it. She had no desire to see what all she’d placed in it. Her heart raced.
“But, there might be something good in here,” He said, promisingly.
With an air of anticipation, He placed the box back on the floor between her knees.
“You expect to see good things in there?” she asked. Her puzzled brow yielded itself to the notion that there might be something she hadn’t considered.
There air in her lungs was trapped for a few seconds before it searched for an exit. As her breath seeped from her nostrils, she considered the point that not everything in the box was bad. But, why would she have put something good in there? The whole idea of putting these things into this box was to rid herself of them.
Quickly, the question dashed across her mind, “These things are all a part of me, why would I give them away? The good, the bad, and yes – even the ugly, all parts of me; my life.”
Not even attempting to open it, He smiled at her, as if He somehow knew that she was getting it. She was beginning to catch a glimpse of something that had been hidden behind dark clouds and confusion, but was there all along. Something that the world might consider small and insignificant began to blow her whole world wide open.
Scary? Yes! But, like a roller coaster ride you’ve been anticipating since you first heard about it.
Mentally, she searched her own thoughts on what the box contained:
· Things she considered too heavy to carry
· Things that challenged her version of reality
· Things too big to understand
· Expectations that would crush her if not met
· Disappointments – founded and not
· Fears – perceived and real
· People she loved
· People she dreaded
· Her weaknesses
· Intimidation from her own strengths
· The responsibilities for the choices of others
She marveled at the notion that some of those things weren’t even hers to give away.
“What else might be in there that I’ve unknowingly discarded?” she pondered. She wanted to smile because she knew He saw her curiosity. But, did she dare look?
Whispering, He suggested, “What if there are pretty items in there? Like the gifts and joys you didn’t feel you deserved? What if everything in the box is wrapped with potential?”
A lump got caught in her throat. Was it hope?
This simple task was making her muster up courage. “Why do I hesitate?” She wanted to ask out loud, but was afraid He’d answer. If she heard His reply, there’d be no turning back.
She irrationally wanted to get up and run as far as should could, as fast as she could. But, to where? Scripture surfaced in her thoughts.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me…”
(Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV)
Yes, one of her favorite Psalms.
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it.
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; and that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”
(Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 NKJV)
Her thoughts didn’t race; they meandered through her mind, taking pleasure with each point made: “He knows me, yet He loves me. He knows ME, yet He loves ME! He loves me enough to open the box with me, knowing what’s inside.
Maybe, just maybe – I can love me that much, too. I trust Him. Completely.”
Almost embarrassed, she looked up and quietly conceded, “Go on. Open it.”
Fear washes over me, but, hope breaks through. Anticipation rises. My heart races, my breath comes in tiny gasps. My face is hot. My eyes fill with tears. My blood feels like it’s shaking in my veins. He’s been waiting for this.
We’ll open it – together.