[This post is in a weekly devotional series called Everything New. Sign up here if you’re interested.]
All the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again. -Nursery Rhyme
Life would be easier, wouldn’t it, if all its pieces held together. If they always made sense. If nothing ever broke off. If no part were ever lost, or twisted, or detached.
Imagine life if you could glide smoothly through the day from one of your roles to the next: mother to wife to co-manager to next-door-neighbor to aunt to friend; or brother to supervisor to dad to son to church leader. Is there one person in there somewhere? Is it possible to live as the same person at home as at work, instead of civil Jekyll in public and monster Hyde when you’re alone?
Imagine life if no one ever left, if illness never caused loved ones to drop from our lives, if the people we care about never died or deserted us.
Imagine life in Paradise. Eden was the wonderful opening chord of life, complete harmony with nothing in excess, nothing missing, nothing broken. But when that break did happen (and what an awful shattering sound it made), when human beings said, “we think we can do this on our own,” all creation shuddered and cracks spread throughout.
Our only hope from then on was that someone, somewhere would help us put the pieces back together.
When the Bible says that “in him [that is, Christ], all things hold together,” it is describing the fundamental structure of all reality. “All things” means all things. Go down to the level of the molecule, then the individual atom, and science will tell you that it is a mystery how atoms and their particles hold together. But they do. How is it that you put into your mouth meat and potatoes and vegetables, and they are broken apart, but you yourself don’t break apart? Your body keeps reorganizing itself, growing, healing. The biological pieces keep coming together, with some interruptions for illness, until that last breath moves out across your lips and the spirit departs. Only then does your body return to dust.
The divine Christ puts the pieces back together because he put it all together the first time. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
Our only hope of surviving in a broken, disconnected, fractured world is the fact that God created everything according to a grand pattern. The very meaning of the word “creation” is taking pieces and making a whole. Heaven and earth do fit together, even though it oftentimes seems as if they are two different universes. God created the visible and the invisible as one reality, though now we so often choose to live merely as bodies without souls. Why, at creation, did it all hold together? Why are there patterns to the pieces? It is because “all things were created by him and for him.”
What do you think?
Excerpt from Putting the Pieces Back Together: How Real Life and Real Faith Connect. Free DVD available now.