David lived with Jill and me for a few months. He was ingenious, truly funny, loved all things Russian, drove an MG, climbed buildings and did crazy stunts with his friends, and he was festering inside.
He had come to Christ a few years before while living with parts of his family beyond his nuclear family. His was one of the first families that Jill and I saw as ‘nuclear’ as in nuclear waste.
It was decades ago that he would roar into our tiny driveway, hop out of that tiny MG Midget with his terribly cool glasses and saunter into the house in the afternoon sun.
And this morning Jill and I were talking about David while Jill agonized over what to respond to Brandon’s (number two son) friend Barry. We’ll call him Barry. Last night Barry poured enough vitriol over his father’s alcoholism and non-existant adult maturity and mother’s painful shortcomings out of her horrific family growing up to totally poison Jill’s iPhone screen and her night on going to bed.
Barry was festering, seething with acidic anger, boiling over as he worked, reworked and struggled with step 4 in the 12 steps. All of the old pain was killing him, angering him, relentlessly battering him.
Which caused me to see the genius of David’s silly jar, his Fester Jar. David put vile things in a one gallon jar: dead, pussy, infected, twisted, ugly, runny, ruinous objects in the Fester Jar. He showed it to too many girls way to early in the relationship. The girls tended not to ride in the MG Midget so much after seeing the Jar of Fester. Some guys suddenly were very busy when David asked if they wanted to go to a movie.
But he could still laugh at more of his life than Barry can.
Barry and David have roughly equivalent amounts of vitriol and ugliness from their earliest years and the amount of puss and gangrenous pain could easily overwhelm and kill a boy becoming a man.
David found a way to objectify it, add to it, carry it or not carry it with him, sleep with it, consider eating it (he never did or I firmly believe he would have died wracked with pain), and finally. . . leaving it behind.
Confessing sin to God is a way of objectifying the festering, seething mess in my soul and getting it out of my thinking and feeling. Confessing to another person, James the half brother of Jesus would say, just seems more real. Barry and all of us need a picture, some metaphor, some Jar of Fester that we can finally leave somewhere and never return to it.
Maybe it will take a day, month, year or three, but when it is full enough that you can SEE it endangers your life and bedroom should it expand and blow off the container lid — then you see that you MUST get rid of it.
I forgot how wonderful it was when David finally got rid of his Jar.
I may go find a Tupperware for Barry and for me to each have. No, I think we will each need something with a tighter lid, spilled fester can kill.
Maybe that is why they threw the cross of Christ into the burning garbage dump after He got through using it. It’s where they were burning everyone else’s festering garbage.