All boxed up. . .

IMG_6090There are three boxes in my garage that stare at me every time I go near them. They contain what is left of my files from 2001 to 2014. Or to be more clear from my last 13 years of professional ministry.

What do they contain? They contain letters and correspondence from my earliest days of ministry. They contain drawings from all thirty years of ministry. Drawings made by children during church and given to me after church. Some of them are even caricatures of me. They contain memories of places I was privileged to preach and teach although most of those printed flyers were thrown out a few weeks ago.

What’s really there that I am struggling to get rid of? The sermons.  Not just any sermons but one’s prepared for a church that God built. A church that was extended grace in its old age when most churches are going through the painful slow death that churches die. This church had a resurrection. Free from IMG_6091denominational restraints as far as boards, committees and even expectations, it flourished as a place to answer the call to reach unchurched people. Every sermon I preached in this context was a  new one each week. They were written for a specific people and a specific time. They were gifts from God each week as I would sit in my chair and work first on paper and then on my laptop to create the sermon I thought God wanted. To the very end I did my best to remain faithful to God in preparing these messages. Even in my brokenness I tried to never compromise what I knew to be His truth; truth that I needed to hear as well.

IMG_6092Contained in these boxes is the manuscript, the worship design notes, the bulletin inserts, and the “production sheet” for each week’s service.

The question that haunts me is what do I do with these boxes? I no longer have the electronic version of them because my work computer was swiped clean before I had a chance to take my personal documents, letters, and thousands of pictures both personal and church related that were on it. (a loss I still grieve at times.) So here they are. Words to teach. Words to share. Teaching that is still legitimate even if I am not deemed to be so.

I am cleaning the garage today . . . I’ve thought about it all week. I even asked someone else recently what I should do with them and they said without hesitation that I should throw them away. . . I can’t do it. Maybe someday but not today. The sermons can still be heard and read at although I have not promoted that site. It’s like a career soldier giving up his rifle or a lifelong mechanic walking away from his tools. I will go back to them even if it is for just my study. I’ve read a few of them lately and I still see God’s handiwork in the writing and feel His Spirit stir my own soul.

For now I won’t throw them away. For now they will stay . . . all boxed up.



8 thoughts on “All boxed up. . .

  1. u may remember that I questioned u closely about parting with the books. now I would urge you to not part with the boxes. they r u and your genius in cooperation with divine help need not be disregarded nor forgotten. He has not forgotten you and in his will u have years ahead for usefulness. Don’t forget that the potter made “again” the vessel. His mercies are new again each morning. The boxes contain a record of what he did through a redeemed servant and portend what he can do again through a redeemed servant. Keep the boxes and keep the faith. wm

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh Wes, as I was reading I was so hoping your post wasn’t going to end with these boxes being left at the curb for recycling pick-up; the detritus of another day. Their physical presence gives testimony to the literal, tangible work of God in and through your life. His gifts and calling are without repentance. He is not taken by surprise at the knotted threads that we all, in our weakness, weave into the tapestry of our lives and in full knowledge of every thread of our lives He entrusts into our care, His message. A treasure in earthen vessel; Truth in a cardboard box. It is too beautiful a representation to be discarded:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t throw them away. They are who you are. You put your heart and soul into them. One day you will read them and maybe even preach again.
    Praying for you Wes.

    Liked by 1 person

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