Unpacking

My multitudinous fans may have noticed that I have been slacking lately on my goal to post daily. My writing has dropped down my priority list as other obligations have crowded it recently. Not the least of which has been unpacking.

Not to brag, but this is move 18 in our nearly 25 years of marriage and we have this down pat. Within 36 hours of the movers showing up at our door, all of our inside boxes were unpacked—I still need to tackle garage stuff. Pictures aren’t on the walls quite yet, but they will be soon.

However, this is not the most significant unpacking I have been dealing with this past week. I can’t go into detail, but suffice it to say someone’s box broke open. Not just any box, either—a box of secrets. Unfortunately, these were dark secrets that this individual didn’t want anyone to know about. Once the box broke, he decided he couldn’t live with that box’s contents being all over the street. Now, a grieving wife is left trying to understand this box she didn’t know existed because it was hidden by this man she thought she knew.

It is important to unpack when we move.

Entering into marriage is a significant move and it is not good to have unopened boxes in the new household. Bad news doesn’t get any better with age. Having to unpack a hidden box with your spouse can be a painful undertaking, but it must be done for the integrity of the marriage.

We also must be willing to unpack before God. To lay our hearts, minds and souls bare before his holy gaze. To allow him to consume all that is impure that we might become consecrated for his service. Confession and self-examination are essential spiritual disciplines.

We live in an age where true privacy is hard to come by. With so much of our life being digitized, it is subject to exploitation for commercial and other interests. I think people should have the right to privacy. We ought to be able to keep certain information private. But we must be careful about keeping secrets.

Private information are those things that no one—or not many—needs to know about us. Our ability to retain privacy empowers our ability to have intimacy—emotional, spiritual, physical. If there are things that only my wife knows about me, that demonstrates to her that she has a privileged place in my life.

Secrets are those things that we wish others not to know because their revelation could cause harm or embarrassment. They are things that we will lie to defend. Secrets, in this definition, are anathema to intimacy. They are information we hide from those who would normally know such personal things about us.

While we can manage to live for a great length of time with secrets from other people, we cannot live with secrets from God. Nothing escapes his gaze. To live as though we were keeping secrets from him is to alienate ourselves from him and insult his love for us.

May all your boxes be empty.

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