A light had a string attached to it that would turn on and off with a simple, but sure, tug. The bulb was strong enough to light the otherwise dark room it stayed in and provided security to the person whose hand pulled on its illuminating string.
The man of the house left the dinner table, and his family, and made the light glow. With the door closed behind him, he reached as far as he could in the security of the light (and the closed door) and let his fingers run slowly, but trained, along a dusty pane until they touched what they were searching for. He heard his daughter talking excitedly about the Poesias de la Madre Oca (Mother Goose) story she’d finished earlier. She was just learning to read.
A velvet-covered box, outlined in metal the color of gold, was in the man’s grasp. The anticipation swelled quickly as it always did when he practiced this ritual. Gazing excitedly at the top of the box, he opened it as his eyes adjusted to the secret that was inside. His secret that…was…not…there.
Human nature immediately pulsed through his thickening veins and the light became more and more blinding while he looked around. He didn’t realize that he was turning to check the door every 4 seconds between frantic eyefuls of anything but what he was looking for.
There was nothing there. Nothing he wanted anyway, but his fear now turned from loss to gain, his family’s gain in knowledge of what his box held.
The other side of the door would hold a paranoia that, no matter the mask he put on, would close in like high tide on barnacles. Slow, but inevitable.
He did not know who had the treasure inside of what he had assumed was his unmolested box. Well, one man’s treasure is another man’s trash as one man’s villain is another’s hero. His heroic treasure would soon, if not already, be found out.
He pulled the string for the darkness he wished still surrounded his secret and opened the door. No one. Maybe he expected all of them to be standing there or maybe just his wife. Dear God, what if it was his kids? Whoever it was now knew the man that sat at the head of the kitchen table each night for dinner to be a liar; the life they lived a figment in the world of imagination.
In the kitchen, his son rose from the table and walked away without a word and his wife looked longingly at him, wishing the young man that used to be her baby boy would sit just a few moments more. Her daughter happily scraped the peas on her plate, proud of herself for cleaning the plate of food.
There was no easy way to say what the man needed to say; it’s never easy being the one to shine the light on your own darkness, but he had bought the bulb so he supposed he really had no choice.
Before he opened his mouth, his daughter left the table, ran over to him and hugged his leg, since that was as high as she could get, and told him she had a present for him and mommy and brother. She looked lovingly at her father; neck tilted as far back as it could go while he looked at his wife who shrugged her shoulders looking back at him.
Their son, a 14-year-old recluse whose lock on his door was his best friend rolled his eyes. Protesting was pointless. She was the baby and they all had to indulge her stupid child-like whims.
Leading her mom and dad by the hand, she pulled them towards her room and in the clueless anticipation of the moment, dad had forgotten about the mystery he still had to search for.
Inside of her room, with her own handprints of paint on the walls and a new bookshelf to hold her growing library, they stopped in the middle. The girl’s brother stuffed his impatient hands inside his pockets waiting for a good time to rejoin his friend.
She announced that she wanted to read to them.
Dad watched her skip to a drawer and open it carefully, as if whatever was inside would be lost forever with only the slightest touch of carelessness. She reached inside, her eyes wide with glee and when she turned around with her tiny fingers clutching the book as carefully as tight could be, her father’s eyes widened…but with fear. Mom was puzzled and her brother’s indifference was to be expected.
Naïve to jaded reactions of her family, the girl sat down and opened the book to her favorite part…
*Queridos hermanos, amémonos los unos a los otros, porque el amor viene de Dios, y todo el que ama ha nacido de él y lo conoce. El que no ama no conoce a Dios, porque Dios es amor. Así manifestó Dios su amor entre nosotros: en que envió a su Hijo unigénito al mundo para que vivamos por medio de él. En esto consiste el amor: no en que nosotros hayamos amado a Dios, sino en que él nos amó y envió a su Hijo para que fuera ofrecido como sacrificio por el perdón de nuestros pecados. Queridos hermanos, ya que Dios nos ha amado así, también nosotros debemos amarnos los unos a los otros. Nadie ha visto jamás a Dios, pero si nos amamos los unos a los otros, Dios permanece entre nosotros, y entre nosotros su amor se ha manifestado plenamente.
¿Cómo sabemos que permanecemos en él, y que él permanece en nosotros? Porque nos ha dado de su Espíritu. Y nosotros hemos visto y declaramos que el Padre envió a su Hijo para ser el Salvador del mundo. Si alguien reconoce que Jesús es el Hijo de Dios, Dios permanece en él, y él en Dios. Y nosotros hemos llegado a saber y creer que Dios nos ama.
Dios es amor. El que permanece en amor, permanece en Dios, y Dios en él. Ese amor se manifiesta plenamente entre nosotros para que en el día del juicio comparezcamos con toda confianza, porque en este mundo hemos vivido como vivió Jesús. En el amor no hay temor, sino que el amor perfecto echa fuera el temor. El que teme espera el castigo, así que no ha sido perfeccionado en el amor. Nosotros amamos a Dios porque él nos amó primero. Si alguien afirma: «Yo amo a Dios», pero odia a su hermano, es un mentiroso; pues el que no ama a su hermano, a quien ha visto, no puede amar a Dios, a quien no ha visto. Y él nos ha dado este mandamiento: el que ama a Dios, ame también a su hermano.
She did not know all of the words and was not completely sure of what everything meant. But she knew the word “amor” and since Dios es el amor, she wanted to be like Him.
The man reached out his hand and sat his daughter down, requesting that his wife and son stay in the room. He went on to tell them about his secret, about the Bible he had been reading and no longer wanted to be a part of their faith, though it went against their cultural upbringing. They listened in love and because of the broken secret, the revealing of the mystery, lived happily ever after…in Jesus’ name.
*(1 John 4:7-21 NIV) Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. this is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.