Sunday, October 27, 2013

Box of Secrets - Dallas Meets Chris

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Two posts ago, we met Dallas, a young man heavily burdened with a “box of secrets”. Dallas comes to church with this box, unsure what to do with it, feeling very out of place because of it, and reluctant to let anyone see what is inside. Andy was no help. Like many church-goers, he was too busy with his own program to get involved in the messiness of someone else’s life.

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In the last post, we saw how Jesus responded to a woman whose “box of secrets” had finally spilled open for everyone to see. Jesus gave this response. “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.” The woman left that place forgiven, freed, and with hope that a new life was possible.

Today, we will return to Dallas standing there in the church hallway with his box of secrets. Will he find the help he so desperately needs?

Meanwhile Back at the Church...
With a deep breath, Dallas shifted the weight of his box and trudged on down the hallway. Just then, Chris approached from the opposite direction. His shiny black shoes and expensive suit proclaimed him as a successful businessman.

Chris frowned critically as he approached Dallas. “What in the world are you doing?” Chris asked, motioning toward the box.

“What does it look like I'm doing?” Dallas retorted sarcastically.

“Don't get mad at me! You're the one who is making life difficult for yourself,” Chris shot back with a small smirk.

“I know.  I know.,” Dallas admitted with a sigh. “But I've been carrying this box around for so long that I've almost forgotten what it is like to live without it.”

“What's in the box anyway?” Chris asked curiously.

After a long silence Dallas finally answered. “It's something I've never shown anyone before, but I can't keep going on like this.” He hesitated a moment longer. “If I let you see what's in the box, Chris,…maybe you can help me figure out what to do with it.”

“OK, why not. Let’s see what you’ve got,” Chris agreed.

Dallas set his burden on a nearby window ledge and hesitantly opened up the box. “Here.  I'll show it to you.”

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The businessman looked into the box and gasped. “Dallas, I never imagined you would do something like this!  I thought you were a Christian…or at least pretty good guy. I know I’ve seen you around church every once in a while. You shouldn't be like that!  Remember what the Bible says.  "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has gone.  The new has come."  You've just got to stop this, man! That's all there is to it. You should be past all that by now. Stop living in the past and get on with life!”

Chris made a hasty retreat from Dallas and his box of secrets. Dallas closed up his box, and silently picked up his burden once more.

The Judge Condemns
In this story, Chris represents one possible response that can be encountered in the church when people take the risk to let someone see their “boxes of secrets”. I have to give Chris credit for at least trying to offer help. But his reaction to whatever ugliness was in Dallas’s “box of secrets” so shocked him that he failed to respond as Jesus did to the woman caught in adultery.

Chris got the second part right. He was really strong on “Go and leave your life of sin.” That is, indeed an important message for Dallas to hear. But he completely missed “Neither do I condemn you.”


Time For Reflection
What do you think about Chris’s response?
  • How does Chris’s response compare to Jesus’s response?
  • Was Chris helpful at all to Dallas?
  • How does Chris's response compare with the way you would respond when faced with someone else’s “box of secrets”?

 “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11b)

In our next post, Dallas will meet Celine, a lady from the church. Will she respond differently than Chris did? Will she respond like Jesus? How will her response compare with yours?


  1. What do you think about Chris’s response?

    How does Chris’s response compare to Jesus’s response?
    Was Chris helpful at all to Dallas?
    How does Chris's response compare with the way you would respond when faced with someone else’s “box of secrets”?

    I want to try to answer it

    1. I think he shouldn't response to him like that cause that would make Dollas feel ashamed and get burden more of it.
    2. Chris judges him more but Jesus wants him to come and confess then forget it and not to do the same.
    3. I think no, Chris judges him and says everything that he supposes not to say.
    4. as a human, we normally act like Chris. but when I have been a real christian and have been mature in Him, will act different. I know it's hard to do but would try to do the right one. would love to help someone who is in box of secret.

    i am sorry if i get mistake to response in this sharing.
    Thank you ka Julie for sharing this and it reminds me about the Drama as we acted 4 years ago. :D would love to see the next story.

    1. Thanks so much for your reply Hana. Yes, this is the same story we did 4 years ago, just told in a different way. I really hope that we can all get better in our responses. I hope this series can help us think and grow.

  2. This is also a powerful reminder that we have to be careful who we share our secrets with. Even well meaning christians can sometimes be the wrong people to trust and placing your trust in the the wrong person can bring unnecessary pain.

    The "let he who is without sin" story (how I think of it) is one of my favorite stories and a valuable lesson in true forgiveness and grace. I look forward to your next installment,

  3. You are so right, Tamara. It will always be important to choose carefully who we trust with our secrets. But I believe that people in the church can...and should move toward becoming more "safe". I hope that perhaps this series might help us examine our hearts, attitudes and reactions and move in that direction.

  4. As a "Chris" I'm ashamed of the actions of my fellow namesake. I know some guys with some serious box issues...stuff that even the criminal courts can't forgive, and yet, because of the grace of a few Christians (and of course, God), they were able to move on to amazing Christ-centered lives.

    For me, I'm learning to never judge. Redirecting, or helping keep a friend on the straight and narrow has only ever done more harm than good for me. Love works, God will judge.

    1. Oops! Regarding the name, I didn't even think of connection. Chris was the name we used when we did this story as a drama a number of years ago. I just kept the same name. (No reflection on you, of course.)

      It is true that God's grace is powerful enough to not only "keep someone on the straight and narrow", but to totally make all things new. A reaction like Chris (in this story) really doesn't point anyone toward grace.

      Thanks for your comment.


Any thoughts on this post? I would love to hear from you.

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