By Pastor Jim Jackson, Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church.
Sure, it’s a bit hyperbole, but duct tape fixes everything.
Well, maybe many things. My wife recently repaired her iron with some. Hope it doesn’t catch fire when she’s ironing one of my best shirts. I recently packed my smoker using duct tape. Didn’t want it to mess up the carpet in our car when transporting it to the mountain cabin for Thanksgiving.
I’ve seen it used to patch up upholstery, like what you see on Frazier’s father’s chair. Adds a bit of homey look to that fancy apartment. It works wonders sometimes when you have a broken window. It adheres to clear plastic, but I wouldn’t use it to fix car windows - can’t stand up to the wind. But at least, I bet you are getting the point. Duct tape is just good to have around.
Of course, there are better things to have around, perhaps many things. But today I’m thinking about friends.
Like duct tape, they can’t fix everything. But they are sure good to have during life’s bump-ups. They don’t have to be Bible quoting encyclopedias, pretending to take every hurt away with a ready quote. Job’s “friends” tried something like that, but it didn't work. They don’t need degrees in psychology or know the difference between empathy and sympathy. Good friends come in every color and speak different languages.
The most important language isn’t even spoken. Rather it’s articulated by a friend just being there when needed. Presence speaks louder and more clearly than a croaker sack full of words. Once I was in Saint Vincent’s hospital, thinking I was in for a heart attack- turned out to be gallbladder. Anyhow, my pain and fear were somewhat abated by a little Catholic nun who came by my bedside; and reaching through the side bars, touched my arm.
She offered a prayer, but it meant so much more that she affirmed me and identified with me by her touch. Jesus never explained every human hurt. Instead He was just there when folk needed Him. Made no difference to Him who they were or what sacred rules they had broken- woman at the well or a hungry multitude.
On one occasion, He even told His followers: “I call you not servants... but I have called you friends.”
Count on it, He’ll be there when you hear the doctor mention the “big C,” or when you’ve lost your mother and such.
Sticks with you better than duct tape.
As children in Sunday School we were taught to sing, “My Best Friend Is Jesus.” It’s still true.