Lenten writings: The box


The uses of sorrow

By Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.

What is the box you were given? 

  
Is it tattered or shiny designer? Shaped round like a grand mother’s hat box? What does it smell like: moth balls, or the faint scent of rose water? Are their tastes in the box, flavors of family holiday meals?

Have you peeked inside?

I peeked, nearly 18 years ago. The lid lifted with a crazy prayer: “I want to know.”

It never fit back on again. I am still unpacking it. But I wouldn’t trade the knowing for all the perfect p.k.’s (preacher’s kids) in the world. 
People give things up for Lent, or so I hear. Maybe this year for Lent you might climb the ladder of your heart and bring down a box or two. 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Lenten writings: The box

Leave a Reply

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