My parents recently moved so I made a trip to see them at the beginning of the month. After decades of travel and living overseas my parents have collected a lot of Asian art. All these collectibles were painstakingly wrapped and packed so as to survive the move. My mom packed certain things herself that were precious. Bubble wrap, paper, blankets, all placed in boxes labeled, FRAGILE. HANDLE WITH CARE.
As you can imagine, the unpacking of these precious collectibles revealed that some pieces didn’t survive well. The tell-tale signs are easily heard when you start the unwrapping process – the jingling of broken items moving about within the confines of the the wrapping materials. Slowly and carefully we opend the packaging to determine the damage – shattered pieces revealed.
What to do with those pieces? My suggestion was to pitch it. Too many pieces to possibly put it all back together into something that would resemble the original. And even if you could put it back together, there would be obvious signs of imperfection. Mom had another plan. She asked me to gently gather the pieces, wrap them, and set them aside. She would make time to glue them back together. At first glance, I thought, suit yourself; too much work. But she’s old school. She knows the value and the history of the broken items. To her, it most definitely is worth the time.
As I prepare to make a second visit to my parent’s new home, the broken pieces come to mind. In light of the tension surrounding our country, the parallel between the broken collectibles and we the people, seem uncanny.
Many may wonder if the brokenness of our country is beyond repair. Some have decided to pitch it. Some are frustrated and angry. Some are looking at all the broken pieces, wondering…can we be glued back together?
If we treasure something, if it has value, if it stores precious memories, if it has purpose, then we can most certainly take the time to reconstruct. The broken collectibles may not resemble their original design right now, however, mom remembers. She holds the memories and the stories behind the art. And so what if they contain imperfections, that becomes part of the story. It will be a tedious process, but it is worth the time invested.
We the people… We the people, don’t seem to be a “we” these days. Somewhere along the way, we broke into a multitude of pieces. We don’t seem to resemble our original design right now; that’s just my humble opinion. I am optimistic, though.
My parent’s move was not kind to some of their artwork. Our move through the generations has left us fragmented. We can join those who say, pitch it, or we can join those who will painstakingly pick up a piece and work towards repair. I will take the latter. It will take time.
Passionate people, I love. Their hearts burn for what they believe. That’s a good thing. God made us with passion, but He also made us with patience. Use passion wisely. If it’s antagonistic, it brings division. If it’s fueled by love, it won’t leave a trail of broken pieces.
We the people are fragile. Handle with care.
Thank you mom.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).