Minister (M) [to you]: “Has anyone seen [Your name] today? [partly to self] It’s really strange. She’s always here to help me with the first part of worship, but I haven’t seen her around.” Hmmm… [to congregation] Maybe if we call out her name, she’ll hear us. Can you call with me?
[Have them all call out your name.]
You(Y): “Hi! I’m right here!”
M: “Right where?!” [looking confused, incredulous.]
Y: “Over here. Can’t you see me?”
M: [pausing, hesitating, then moving toward the box]
M: [Jumps, startled, then has an “Ah-ha” expression, saying:] “Ah, I see you’ve really got yourself in a box today.”
Y: “I’m in a box?”
M: “You most definitely are. I can see it. You’re surrounded closely by walls. You have very little space to stretch and move about, and you can’t see anything beyond the walls of your box.”
Y: “Well, I think it’s pretty silly that you think I’m in a box. Why on earth would someone want to be in a box? What I can tell you is that I’m in a very safe, cozy place. It’s kind-of dark and restful here. My limits are firm and secure, nobody bothers me, and I’ll admit, I feel very comfortable. In fact, I would be content to stay here for a long time.”
M: “Well, [your name], I think I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
Y: “…said what?”
M: “…that you’re in a box. When you’re really in a box, and you’ve been there for a while, it becomes so comfortable, so natural, that you don’t even realize you’re in there anymore. You think that’s the way it should be. … But as Unitarian Universalists, we stand for ideas and ways of being in the world that help us to think outside of the box. We promise to find the courage and the compassion to help one another get beyond those things that box us in, that hold us back, and that make us fearful. Because when we can escape our boxes, truly amazing things can happen! We’ll ultimately find a world that is expansive, bright, exciting, and full of possibility!”
Y: “Well, that sounds great, [minister’s name], but it also sounds risky. I’m not so sure I want to find out what that kind of world feels like.”
M: “It’s okay to be nervous, in fact it’s totally normal to be afraid to come out of your box. So I promise you that you don’t have to do it alone. [to the children:] Could I have several older children come up? [your name] needs our help. Could you gently, carefully lift the box to help her get out of it?”
[children come up to do this]
M: “[your name] are you ready?”
Y: “I’m not sure…”
M: “It’s okay. We’ll be careful and respectful. [to children:] Okay, gently now… help her out of the box…”
Y: [express nervousness and anxiety as they lift the box… encourage them to go slow and gently, be mindful and careful. And then, when box is totally removed…] “Wow! It’s so bright out here! And look at everyone! It’s great to see you all! Look! I can even see out the windows! [stretch and prance a bit] and I can really stretch and move! Yikes! It feels like anything could happen now!”
O: “Yes it could. You’re out of the box now. If you can dream it, you can make it happen!”
This Reflection is done in collaboration with the minister, worship leader or someone else.
Preparation: Use a moving box meant meant for hanging clothes, or other suitably large box. I taped up the corners of the box bottom and top so that it was like a square tube, open on open on both ends, so when inside, I was fully hidden. We labeled ours “BOX” to make it plainly obvious.
Get in the box before the service begins and wait patiently. If you use a microphone, be sure to have it with you. Warning: I experienced a vertigo-like sensation since I couldn’t see more than a foot in any direction.