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Broken Handles

Our first snow storm of 2017 was beautiful. Blistery cold and quietly blowing across the fields and highways, this heavenly precipitation descended like a dove. Well not quite a dove, but at least like a blanket, which to borrow from Annie Dillard in An American Childhood, “held the houses down and the people in.”

The routine warnings had been echoed on radio and television as newscasters and politicians took advantage of the face time to remind people to “stay off the roads unless you absolutely need to go out.”

Snow has a tendency of slowing down the pace of our normally frantic race. Events are abated, travel to malls and kids wrestling matches are postponed. The brave make their way to Wawa or gas stations to get the previously neglected loaf of bread, gallon of milk and tank of fuel; or maybe just another cup of coffee and a donut.

Our privilege during a good snow is shoveling. Privilege, because if you can still endure the cold and the process you are blessed. However, shoveling underscores a condition that needs to be addressed, unless you want to be “held in” a little longer and let Mother Nature clear the snow.

While shoveling this year our broken shovel handle continued to twist and pinch, making it an annoying task. It was time to repeal and replace this broken handle. A spare shovel provided the necessary substitute and the Craftsman Variable-Speed Drill became the instrument for change. Removing both handles and swapping each appliance, a saddening discovery was made. This handle was also broken. One broken handle had been traded for another broken handle. This was not going to change our condition.

When you think about it this reminds us of how many people deal with their situations in life. They trade one broken handle for another. We really need a new handle without breach or defects; one that can be depended upon to get the condition resolved.

Alienation is a condition that needs resolution. Some replace it with varying forms of debauchery; vices that are at the ready to fill a need caused by vacancies. Satisfaction is absent. Alienation, or separation from original connectedness, is painful if left unfulfilled. Illicit sexual activity or drug use, uncontrolled eating or drinking, rule imposing religions are means toward resolution. But they are all broken handles.

Since our alienation is spiritual, separation from God in whose image we are designed, there is a void that physical elements cannot fill. The only true and lasting solution to fixing this broken handle is not another broken handle but a total replacement. God’s cure for our condition had been promised through the ages and foretold with amazing accuracy by His prophets. They pointed to a fulfillment that only Jesus Christ could match. His holy life and resurrection clearly marked him out as the Son of God with power; the solution to our broken-handle lives.

We can keep shoveling with a twisting, pinching handle causing great anxiety and frustration, or we can really get a handle on life in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your choice!

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