Lesson From Some Cardboard Boxes

Posted: May 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

Recently I spent several days in Florida.  While there, I was able to see and spend some time with our children and grandchildren.  Although our children are now grown and both married, I can’t seem to fully comprehend  that they came from Beth and me.  And then when I sit and watch the grandchildren, it becomes even more incomprehensible to me.  It’s almost too amazing and too big for me to appreciate and take in.

While in Florida I had to go to UPS to mail a box of purses and beads made by the Haitian Creations ladies.  While there, I had time to think as the line was long and slow.  I got looking around the room at several boxes that were rather plain, taped up, addressed and ready to be put into the UPS system to be delivered.  The boxes by looking at the outside  gave no indication of their contents.

My own box was plain on the outside,  and a bit roughed up.  It was a used box.  Inside my box were several hundred dollars worth of purses and beads, but really there was so much more.  The beautiful purses and beads,  handmade in Haiti, by ladies in Haitian Creations represent their hope for the present and their dreams for the future. All of that inside a plain, roughed up cardboard box.

The ladies hope to daily provide for themselves and for their families.  They hope to send their children to school.  They hope to live in a house where they feel safe and secure.

They dream of a life out of the clutches of poverty and oppression. They dream of a better life for their children.  They dream of a future which so far has eluded them and for which they had no hope.  All of this in a plain, roughed up cardboard box.

These ladies aren’t just sitting around  waiting.  They have found people who believe in them, even when they don’t believe in themselves.  They have found people who will teach and train them that they can provide for themselves.  They have gotten a hold of what can happen and what they can become and they are working to effect change in their lives. Who could imagine that all of this could be found in a plain, roughed up cardboard box.

It makes me think of people and how so often we judge their worth or their potential by the outside that we can see without considering what’s inside.  I love the words of the Lord to Samuel found in 1Samuael 16:7.  Israel was in need of a new king and Samuel was the one who would choose him and he, as would be expected. was more inclined to consider the ones who on the outside looked kingly. But God didn’t see it that way and He said to Samuel,

 “Samuel, don’t think Eliab is the one just because he’s tall and handsome. He isn’t the one I’ve chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.”

It is so easy to judge success by the size of one’s bank account or by the size of one’s house or by the type of vehicle one drives or by the job that one has or by the size of one’s mission or by the externals of a person’s life.

I am writing this from Port au Prince, Haiti but I find myself back at UPS in Florida looking at plain cardboard boxes and and it helps me to refrain from determining one’s worth or potential or success by the outside.

I have a tattoo on my right shoulder.  A few years ago our daughter Morgan said that if I wanted a tattoo, she would pay for it.  Well, since I figured that was a short term offer, I agreed and quickly chose the wording of the tattoo.   I knew immediately what I wanted.  It was five words spoken by William Seymour, the son of former slaves,

Lose Sight To Gain Vision

Let’s not be be hindered from seeing what can be, because we just see what is.  Let’s not determine one’s value or potential by looking only on the outside.  Let’s LOSE SIGHT TO GAIN VISION.

John McHoul

  1. Carla says:

    good word. Bless you all in Haiti

  2. Victor Shamanovsky says:

    Boxes all alike
    Perfection is

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