We don’t think of glue as a theological word but is there a more significant word for our lives of faith? Glue binds broken pieces, reconnects pieces that fit together and is, well, sticky.
We often hear that “mom was the glue of our family,” We immediately know what that means. We can imagine the situations where she was called upon a word of advise, a leaning shoulder, or carefully chosen words of caution. We can imagine the situations where she felt it better not to say anything in spite of her feelings or the times when she did speak because she felt it important.
Glue. Every home has it. We hope we never have to use it. Everybody knows how to use it but few of us can do it without making a bigger mess. Glue is only used when something is broken. I’ve thrown glue away because it was no longer useful. (It wasn’t used and it glued to itself. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?) Nothing broken during the glue’s lifespan. There are other times when something breaks and I reach for the only thing that can possibly piece together what I don’t want to lose.
It is the broken times of life when we reach out an open hand to our faith. We can take our faith for granted for years until something or someone breaks some thing or someone. We want to be whole again; we want to regain what we felt was lost; we want to heal and mend the factions and broken pieces of our lives. We reach for the glue of faith. The application is simple even if some spills. It’s only the first step. Then time is needed to dry. The item, just glued, cannot be moved for fear that it might break apart once again. After a time we are able to place it where we can see it; now mended and glued.
There are also the heavy duty glue jobs in our lives. This calls for something extra special. It’s not just glue that we reach for, it’s “crazy glue.” Only a glue called crazy can heal and mend this broken relationship or important piece in our lives when everyone around us says to “move on” or “just forget about it.” It’s the crazy love that forgives even when forgiveness is the most difficult feeling to express. It is the crazy love that easily sees imperfections but loves still. It is the crazy love that we know deep inside does not originate with ourselves but is greater than us and gives the strength and the craziness to be loving, forgiving and hopeful.
With all the political divisiveness in our country these days, a friend of mine defined the two political parties for me. He said that republicans see reality as it really is and democrats only see what is possible and hopeful. Interesting. Perhaps the glue needed for our lives calls for a little dab of each on each other. Faith shows us in stark clarity who we are if we are willing to look and examine ourselves. Faith also gives us a dab of a hopeful future. We hope that both stick with us.
All of us can mend, heal and fix as best we can those broken parts of our lives. We only need a ready tub of glue at our disposal. Jesus is the glue bonding this life to his Father. But remember, don’t get any on your fingers.