Someone had to tell the man, and as I was the only other person present, it had to be me. As he sat upon our kitchen stool, I began.

“Honey, the TV in the loft just has to go.”

His response came sooner than I anticipated as a groan like sigh exhaled itself into a complete sentence. “No, it still works. You can’t just give it away!”

As gently as I could, I broke the news. “It’s worse than that dear. We won’t be able to even give it away. Nobody will want it. It will have to go to the dump!”

The beast currently anchored a bookshelf as it perched like a whale upon a dock. The big boxy beast was nothing short of impossible to move as it dominated the room.

I’d unloaded the big maroon couch, acting as a companion near the whale beast, a few months back on buy and sell. My thought process was that if I downsized little by little in order to begin my gradual update, he might not notice. Or, if indeed he did notice, he’d be more inclined to appreciate the process. However, thus far, it wasn’t’ working. I should have known better as this is the same man who had difficulty parting with his corduroy Levis from college, assuming if he’d hang onto them long enough, they’d once again be in style.

I’d made the mistake of removing things from his closet many a time, thinking he wouldn’t notice. Sooner or later, he always did. His electric typewriter that unbeknown to me had been gifted upon one of his graduation. Then there was the occasion of his missing ten speed bicycle as I thought it was a good idea to donate it to an auction as it wasn’t quite up-to-speed. Little did I know the memories attached to it were also taken from him as I took each item.

I suppose all this has a cumulative effect which directly correlates to his present day response when I begin to go anywhere near his closet. An admonishing finger wags all friendly like as he reminds me, “Now remember. Ask me first!”

As we discussed the whale beast upon the shelf in the loft, he eventually agreed that it needed to go, just not today. Perhaps tomorrow or next week he will decide to make a trip to the dump, but until then, my hands are tied as it’s flat out too heavy a burden for me to carry anywhere.

Matthew must have known we’d need a reminder or two along the lines of bearing burdens. He put it well in his eleventh chapter. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest. My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Light it is when we toss our burdens looming like whales. Sometimes, getting rid of the heavy is just what might lighten our load. However, gentle and humble of heart are key words that remind me of the posturing I must take before unloading what appears to be burdensome to others.  Lord, help me to simply remember that. Amen.

Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.

Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at


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