The Brown Box

It’s been ten years since the financial crisis. I can still see those dazed Lehman Brothers employees exiting their Wall Street offices, clutching brown boxes brimming with personal belongings hastily grabbed from a desk they would never return to.

In 1991 I clutched my own brown box.

My bank supervisor had called me into his office for what I thought was a commendation.  “Unfortunately…” he began.  The rest of what he said escapes me.  It was a reduction in force. “Don’t take it personally,” he said — which of course I did.

I knew if I blinked, the tears would fall.  And being a woman, that was the last thing I wanted.  “I understand.” was all I could muster.

So I filled my brown box and went to the ladies room where I did cry.  And wait.  There were no cell phones. And I was too embarrassed to walk down the trading floor’s aisle with my box in hand. Finally my friend Cindy came in.  And she walked briskly with me, sheltering the box from view.

The truth was I hated that job.

And I was pregnant.

Interestingly, part of that job would have entailed marketing a burgeoning product called a mortgage-backed security. The housing market was flourishing and mortgages were becoming increasingly liquid.  Bundling them into sellable securities was beginning its vigorous run.

A run that ended with many a brown box.

1n 1991 Alex was born and I started a journey toward a brand new career.  A true dream job which I never anticipated.

Not only did I get to be a teacher, but I got to teach reading.  And work with struggling readers – as I had been back in 4th grade.

Sometimes we are handed brown boxes. And we are dazed, packing up our belongings, leaving the familiar.

But then God holds the brown box for us and grants us rest. And a future we never could have imagined.

Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Are you heavy laden?

Give your brown box to the Lord.

And just wait and see.



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