A young father told me a charming story today: After persistent requests from his son and daughter, he agreed to build a set of treasure chests—booty boxes to accompany their imaginative adventures on the high seas.
The kids, it seems, have become enthralled with pirate tales of late—so Dad thought he’d better get busy on the boxes before they made him walk the plank. Alas..and avast ye mateys: There were unexpected headwinds.
‘When it came to fastening the lid to the box, I concluded that door hinges were way too large,’ my friend wrote. ‘I brainstormed for the solution and recalled the hinges I had noted on small trinket boxes when I was in Haiti five years ago…so I found some scrap metal and set to work.’
Joe also remembered that he and I had discussed the ingenious design of those Haitian hinges when we were teammates on an ACTS team a few years back—and how we’d both learned a little something about the Body of Christ in the process.
When I heard this latest chapter in the homemade hardware saga, I was reminded of another story about the intimate bond between a Father and Son—in the passage we heard from John’s gospel at Mass yesterday.
[Jesus] made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
Jesus seems to be telling us that we do tend to complicate things when it comes to building a relationship with the Lord. We go overboard—forever upping the ante on our sacrificial offerings; piling ornament on top of ornament; smells on top of bells; when all that’s really necessary is the content of our hearts.
Simply open the lid to that treasure chest…and we can be confident the Holy One will be pleased, indeed.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy One.