Boxed In

UnopenedOne of the things I like most about Christmas, is boxes.  Lots of boxes.  What’s in them is irrelevant.  It’s the box itself that’s beautiful.  Clean lines and corners.  Sealant and staples.  Neat.  Tidy.  Contained. Perfect – until you unwrap it.  And then – MESS!  HORRIBLE MESS! Sellotape and spillage and then, not even bubble wrap but those pointless snow ball things you’re still hoovering in May.

The solution is obvious.  Don’t Open The Box.  Keep it, shuttered and secure, somewhere dark, where only you can see it.  Yes, it’ll tarnish. There’s a good chance you’ll forget it’s there. But hey, it’s yours: small and perfect and contained.  It can’t disappoint you.  It won’t let you down. And if you’re feeling a bit blue, you can take it out and stroke it.   Then put it back.  Safe and unsoiled. Perfect.

I have a lot of boxes, stuffed at the bottom of the wardrobe. At night, I hear them. Whispering. Pushing open the door.  Peering out. Shuffling forward. OpenUsOpenUsOpenUs


It’s not like I don’t know they’re there.  Or even what’s in them.  Good things mainly. Presents, from God.  But risky things.  Things I’m not sure about opening…things that, once opened, might not go back in the wrapping.

Hope (that might be disappointed).

Gifts God has given me, but I’m too scared to use.

The bits of my faith I know friends won’t agree with.

Conversations that go deeper than I’d like.

Challenges to the way I see other people, God and myself.

Opportunities to share and to serve.

Like I say, good things. But risky. Safer unopened.  Safer in the box.

Problem is, when you reject the gift, you also reject the giver.  I don’t want your love or your friendship.  I don’t need your charity.  I’m fine on my own.

And, after a certain point, you get what you want.  They stop giving.  And you’re left with your boxes.




3 thoughts on “Boxed In

  1. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin [box] of your selfishness. But in that casket [box], safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves [parentheses mine]

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