Sometimes I imagine that God created us with shelves for storing the various attributes of our souls. But we have closed them off with cabinet doors that block others from seeing what’s inside. People can only guess at our inner treasures by observing how we react to life. Only when we allow them to peek behind our doors can they discover why we do what we do.
This brings us to my adaptation of the familiar expression about walls: “If the cabinets could only talk.” The walls that people sometimes wish could talk would only be able to reveal the obvious, such as, “The wife jumped up and down on the husband’s shirt.”
The cabinets would not be able to explain why. For that kind of in-depth information, one would have to open the cabinets and talk to the condiments and food boxes. Ask yourself: “What is it that I’m really seeing here?” Remember, though, not to see the food as food but as clues.
If you concentrate carefully, you might hear:
“It’s not fair! The Sugar Pops get eaten four times more than my oatmeal.”
“Ah, quit complaining. I’m the last bag of raisin bran and I’ve been shoved back in this dark corner for so long, only the ants have found me.”
The sound of Snickers come from the top shelf. “Who likes raisin bran anyway? I’m the favorite around here.”
“Oh yeah?” the prunes reply. “Too bad for you that you’ve been sacrificed for Lent.”
“Too bad for you,” the Snickers retort, “that no one even thinks about you unless someone gets constipated.”
Shut the door and try another cabinet. This time you discover triplet containers of salt.
“Why so many?” you ask, and you might get this answer:
“The husband does the grocery shopping, and sometimes he gets to the spice aisle and concludes that surely the old salt must have gotten all used up this week.”
“Not only that,” comes a muffled sound from the cabinet below the counter, “but he also interprets ‘school snacks’ on the grocery list as meaning only one thing.” And you hear more Snickers. So you stoop down to the lower cabinet and peek inside. Approximately 412 packages of Motts applesauce tumble out.
“And do you think he’d remember to buy little plastic spoons to pack in the kids’ lunch boxes with us?” the Motts ask saucily.
Now you begin to understand why the wife stomps on her husband’s shirts.
Reflection question for family discussion:
What ideas, feelings, desires, or motives are locked up inside, which sometimes other people misunderstand?
Come, Holy Spirit, and help us to look beyond the surface of each other. Help us to remember that we often misunderstand others because there is something inside we have not yet seen or heard.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries