“It’s Not About Staying In Your Box”

The images used in this graphic page contrast two different worlds, yet whatever the Gospel is, it must have a message for both worlds.

It’s not always easy for me to choose words for pictures which carry so much meaning and emotion. The image of a child’s hand reaching out from that dark enclosed space through a small hole cut into a locked metal door is troubling. (I believe it was from a news story that I came across many months ago. It was about the imprisonment and forced labor of children in some country on the other side of the world.)

How can something like this be? What do you say to that child? What is the Gospel for that child? These questions create a feeling of helplessness in me. The only Bible verse that comes to mind is this.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 (NASB)

But is that really what we would say? “Believe in Jesus. He will make you free.” And then walk away from that small hand reaching out for help. Does that seem as uncaring to you as it does to me? My heart cries out for immediate rescue. I do not like the idea of any child shut away in a box.

What if that image strikes our hearts so deeply because it is really a representation of what each life is like without the light of Christ? Then aren’t we all the same as that child with the desperate hand? If not physically the same, then certainly spiritually the same without God’s intervention? Perhaps that is why it touches the heart so deeply.

This week I found the other image to pair with it. There is a small hand in it too, except it is expressing desire, wonder, and amazement at all the bags of candy and treats available inside a glass display box. What if we are so focused on what we want for ourselves and become so blinded by our own desires that we are unable to see the desperation of others? Have we not then created our own dark box of imprisonment?

While I chose it as an opposite, the more I study the two together, the more similarities I see. The first shows imprisonment to the desires of someone else. The second shows imprisonment to the desires of oneself. But both show imprisonment. I am also now less sure of which life is better. The first makes me think of people who have said, “My life is like Hell, so can Real Hell be any worse?” The second makes me think of people who have said, “Yeah, I’ll end up in Hell, but at least I’ll have fun getting there!” These perspectives are troubling. It is as if we must be imprisoned, either to someone else’s desires or to our own desires, but in the end, the result is the same. We just may be fortunate enough to choose our box of imprisonment. That’s really all the hope there is.

There must be an alternative. What was it again that Jesus said?

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 (NASB)

Many of us have looked at our lives and said, “I do not know what else is out there, but it must be better than what is in here.” Even in the darkest cell created by others or created by ourselves, some light gets inside, and some hope remains.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:5 (NRSV)

There are hearts shut away in boxes all around us. We don’t need to travel to the other side of the world to find them. It doesn’t matter whether they were put inside to fulfill someone else’s desires or by trying to fulfill their own desires. We are called to be His Light Bearers to every heart in every box. This is where inward attitudes and outward behaviors, I believe, come together to be the Body Of Christ.

One thought on ““It’s Not About Staying In Your Box”

  1. Very moving post. Yes, I think we are all in some sort of box until we give our lives to Jesus. He frees us by adopting us as his child.

    Some people’s lives are like a hell of suffering. But God can help these people if they give him a chance. I think God is very near to children who suffer.

    If, through our suffering, we understand the world is not our home, it is worth the suffering. I can say that because I have suffered a lot but am so glad for God’s presence in my life. He gives me hope in this world of pain.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are always welcome, however they may not be reviewed and approved as quickly as what I would like due to techology limitations!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s