Sunday, November 10, 2013

Box of Secrets - Dallas Meets Celine

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In the first post of this series, Andy was no help to Dallas with his box of secrets. He didn’t even try to help.

Two posts ago, we looked at Jesus’s response to a woman whose own box of secrets spilled out into the street for all to see.

In the previous post, Dallas allows Chris to get a glimpse into his box. The reaction was not pretty.

Let’s return to the church where Dallas—quite shaken—is heading to Sunday School class, still carrying his heavy load.


Meanwhile, Back at the Church…

Dallas sighed as he watched Chris disappear around the corner. His stomach tied up in knots, Dallas stood outside the classroom door, hesitating to go in.

“Dallas?” a kind voice called softly. “Are you OK?”

Dallas leaned against the wall. He braced his foot on the wall behind him and balanced the box on his knee. Shaking his head, he mumbled, “Not really.”

“Is it this box?” Celine asked, pushing her long blonde hair back over her shoulder. “It looks really heavy.”

“It is,” Dallas agreed.

“Why not just put it down?” Celine suggested kindly.

“Can’t do it,” Dallas said.

“Can’t…or won’t?”, the young woman's voice was gentle.

“Both, I guess. There is some stuff in here I don’t want seen. I have to keep it with me.”

“Have you ever tried to let someone see inside?” Celine asked. “If you did, maybe someone could help you.”

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“Actually, I did try that. I let someone see what is inside. He got all shocked and angry, and gave me this big lecture. I don’t ever want to go through that again.”

“Why not try me?” Celine offered. Dallas raised an eyebrow quizzically. “Seriously,” Celine continued. “I don’t shock easily, and I never lecture.”

Dallas looked doubtfully at the petite woman, contemplating her offer. “I don’t know. I mean…I don’t know.”

“Come on, Dallas. You can trust me.”

“Well—OK,” Dallas finally agreed. “But promise you won’t be shocked.”

“I promise,” Celine reassured him. “And no lectures.”

Dallas opened the box. He took a step back, drew a deep breath and closed his eyes.

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Celine leaned over the box and looked inside. “Oh Dallas,” she said with a smile in her voice. “This isn’t so bad. Lots of people have things like this in their lives. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

As Dallas looked at Celine, his forehead creased into deep lines over the bridge of his nose.

“Seriously, Dallas. You need to stop worrying about this. You’re making yourself miserable over nothing. My advice to you is to just forget all of this and go one with your life. It isn’t even a problem.” Celine patted Dallas kindly on the shoulder. With a glance back over her shoulder, she opened the classroom door and disappeared inside.

“Not a problem?” Dallas muttered as he closed up the flaps. With the heavy burden in his arms, Dallas leaned against the wall again, and slowly slid down until he was sitting on the floor. Crossing his arms on the box, he rested his forehead on this hands. “Believe me, I KNOW this is a problem.

Kindly Captivity
There is a big weakness in Celine’s response, especially when dealing with sin committed by our friend, even moreso than when dealing with sins committed against our friend. This response, while appearing to be very kind, does nothing to actually deal with the problem.

If we compare this response to that of Jesus, we see that it is very strong when it comes to the first part. This response clearly conveys the idea of:

Neither do I condemn you.

It does nothing with the second part:

Go and leave your life of sin.


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Time for Reflection
What do you think about Celine’s response?
  1. How does Celine’s response compare to Jesus’s response?
  2. Was Celine helpful to Dallas? Why or why not?
  3. How does Celine’s response compare to your own when confronted 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, the final one in this series, Dallas will meet Ted. How will he resond to Dallas? Will his response be like Jesus? How does your own response compare?

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