Friday, June 1, 2012

Super Glue

Super Glue Haiti, photo by Robbie Pruitt
© May, 28, 2012

This article is adapted from Super Glue and a Broken World from Youth Worker. You can read this article in its entirety in Youth Worker here

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:17

Walking down the dusty, cracked, litter-ridden streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, fragmentation and brokenness can be seen everywhere. On the back streets, one can see thrown away bottles and containers, items broken beyond repair, and discarded and used tubes of Super Glue. Disheveled and impoverished people sell their wares on the streets. Tattered makeshift stands display everything from food to batteries, cheap phones, radios, Haitian rum, phone cards, and cigarettes. Hardware stands sell random cords, light bulbs, tools, and Super Glue. Lots and lots of Super Glue.

When walking past the vendors, one can observe some vendors selling nothing but Super Glue. Why all the Super Glue? Well, this is a great question. In this poverty-stricken place of brokenness and disrepair, people cannot afford new things. However, they can afford the twelve cents for a tube of Super Glue and the old things have to be repaired. The market is great for Super Glue in Haiti. The needs are abundant and the shattered environment is always in decline. Brokenness abounds and fixing and repairing is required daily.

Super Glue is a quick and temporary fix. Super Glue brags about being useful for all types of repairs, and on all types of materials. Super Glue mends rubber, metal, glass, plastics, ceramics, and wood—very useful in a fractured world. While Super Glue brags about being “extra strong” on its packaging, after something is broken, it is never quite the same again. Though a compromised repair is often much better than doing without, the item is weakened and the integrity of the item is damaged. It is no longer as it should be. It is no longer new. It is no longer whole. It has been broken. It is fragmented.

The abundance of Super Glue is evidence of the brokenness and total restoration is necessary. All things need to be made new again; we intuitively understand that the brokenness and fragmentation which creates the demand for Super Glue needs to come to an end.

We long for restoration in the midst of brokenness. We long for reconciliation in the presence of splintered lives and shattered dreams and realities. We long for all to be brought together and to be made new. We long for wholeness. We want all to be as it should be. We want everything to be in its right place. We long for more than Super Glue fixes.

In Colossians 1:17, Paul says that Jesus is before all things and that it is in Jesus that “all things hold together.” Paul continues the good news in Colossians 1:19-22, “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.”

God is reconciling all things to Himself. In Jesus, all things hold together. In Him, all things are whole. In Christ, all things are as they should be and everything is in its right place.

There will come a time when Jesus will make all things new. The world will be as it should be. We will be as we should be. The world will be whole again, complete, one, unified, as it should be. We will be whole again, complete, one, unified, as we should be. This will be no Super Glue repair. This will be no quick or temporary fix. This will be complete restoration of all things and of everyone. As John recorded in Revelation 21:5, God said, “Behold, I make all things new.” John saw a new heaven and a new earth in Revelation 21. It was coming down out of heaven from God Himself.

May we not be content with quick fixes. An eternity awaits us with newness of life. We should not settle for or be content with easy, superficial, Super Glue repairs. We should see the need for Super Glue as a product of the fall. There will come a time when Super Glue will have outlived its usefulness and it will become obsolete. Would we look to this glorious day when nothing is broken and in need of repair, when all is made new, when all is restored and reconciled as it should be, when all things are made complete again, and all things are in their right place.

This article is adapted from Super Glue and a Broken World from Youth Worker. You can read this article in its entirety in Youth Worker here


The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Col 1:17

Radio Head, “Everything in its right place,”

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