There once was a little girl who may have seemed like an everyday, normal girl, but in reality, she carried an invisible box full of secrets. Growing tired of carrying around the heavy box, one day the girl attempted to open the box, yet she was ridiculed for the few secrets that escaped so she instead locked the box up tighter and chained it to her neck for safe keeping.
Several years later, the little girl met a man who was greater than any man she had ever met. He was brave, good, and she couldn’t help but peel her eyes from him, even though he was not what others would call beautiful. This man invited the girl to walk with him and promised to hold her hand so she wouldn’t fall. Knowing he was different than any other man, she agreed and reached for his hand, noticing that it was scarred with what looked to be a hole through the middle.
As the girl walked with the man, she found that things were often harder than they were before. She couldn’t figure out why as she knew this man was so good. She asked him to help her understand and, instead of explaining, he merely pulled her along faster. She soon found that she could barely keep up and became very frustrated, “why won’t he help me?” she questioned.
Then one day, the man brought her to another woman. The girl was hurt and confused, and very tired of running. She was ready to give-up following the man as she felt it was too hard. But then something happened, this woman pulled out a box. The box was large, square, and had obviously been beat-up. At closer look, the girl realized the lock on the box had been broken. The woman opened the box and out flowed a plethora of secrets. The secrets were a deep black and swirled around the room, finally settling into a wall between the woman and the man. The girl watched in astonishment, wondering if the woman would fight to stuff them back into the box.
But another amazing thing happened. The woman began to explain her secrets and, as she did, the man swirled his scarred hand around the black wall, transforming it into swirls of bright colors. Blue, purple, red, yellow, pink, and any other color under the rainbow. The girl’s eyes were fixed to the changing wall and quickly realized the swirls formed a painting of an open window looking out a hill with a single cross on it. She turned to the man and he simply smiled.
Then she understood. The man had set this woman free from her box of secrets. But he had not done so by taking the heavy box from the chain around her neck, he had done so by holding her hand as she broke the lock, opened the lid, and released the secrets. Once she trusted him, he took the darkness of these secrets and made them beautiful.
After that day, the girl felt a mix of excitement and fear. She was tired of running with the heavy box, but was scared of the ridicule that could come should she share her secrets. She did not know what to do, so she simply grabbed the man’s hand and walked along with him.
Many days later, the girl was talking with many other girls and, like the woman, one of these girls opened up her box. Once again, the man swirled his hand through the dark ugliness and changed it to beauty. The girl was scared and felt tears brimming behind her eyes. She looked up at the man and he nodded. She then removed the box from the chain on her neck and began to fiddle with the lock. The man reached over and helped as she broke the lock, opened the box, and released the secrets. Her heart pounded inside of her chest as she explained each swirling black mess. The blackness began to envelope her to where she could no longer see the man.
Then, as the last secret was released, they began to shift. She saw the scarred hand of the man waving among the black. As he waved, the secrets changed from black to red and swept into the holes in his hands and feet. For a moment the man looked as though he was in pain, but then the pained look transformed to a deep smile. As he smiled, the secrets poured out of him shining white as snow. Once they were all out, he swirled his hands to create the beautiful window painting she had seen with the woman.
Immediately the girl understood. This man had long ago taken her secrets and bore the punishment and ridicule for her. She had been walking with him for a while, but did not understand until that day that she could not be free from the weight of those secrets until they were released. She alone carried the ability to pass the box to the man.
From that day on, the girl tried very hard to keep the box open. Secrets would come, threatening to re-lock the box, but each time she would look at the man and he would smile. The smile reminded her that the box would make her tired, not free. As the girl became more and more brave, she began sharing her secrets with many people for she longed to be like the woman who first shared with her. She longed for the man to use her to free others from their boxes so they could run with him.
The girl also had little girls who followed and looked up to her. She loved these little girls so very much and wanted all of them to walk with the man. One day she knew it was time to open her box of secrets for them. She was scared but, once again, the man smiled and showed her it was okay. As she opened the box, she once again saw the blackness emerge and the man change it to the beautiful window masterpiece of his creation.
After this day, one of the little girls told the girl that she, too, had a box of secrets and was tired of running after the man with the box weighing her down. She, too, was ready to open the box and be freed from its weight. The girl wept with joy and thanked the man for his goodness. He smiled and reached out, displaying his scarred hands.
The man was indeed better than any other man the girl had or would ever meet. And even though he took her through hard and scary times, he never let go of her hand.