Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Broken Bananas

A lot of things can be fixed after they've broken.

Bananas aren't included.

Tyler has ripped pages out of his colorful books; he's torn posters off the wall in his excitement to see them in closer view; he's enjoyed tearing off the various trucks from the Bob the Builder magazines. And with all of these mishaps, tape can provide a glorious solution.

But a few days ago, after we had peeled a banana for Tyler to eat, the thing just broke right in half.

"Fix it, please, Mommy Daddy, fix it," came Tyler's assured voice.

And of course, nothing worked. We didn't stoop so low as to try actually taping the banana, but I will I admit I held the broken top of the banana onto the bottom half and said, "All better!"

(I'm not proud of my attempt at ease here, but I have to confess that I tried the above method.)

Tyler was onto me right away. "No! Fix it, please, Daddy Mommy, fix it! Fix it!"

As his cries began to escalate into teary-eyed confusion as to what kind of world we live in where everything can't be fixed, it was hard to explain that this is, indeed, life.

Later that evening, it occurred to me that a lot of us still expect that broken bananas can be fixed. We might spend our whole lives trying to mend things that, in fact, need to be dealt with as is. Because, meanwhile, we're neglecting things that really could be fixed with the time, energy, and determination we possess.

We often spend our time trying to "fix" the way we look, the way others think of us, the size of our noses or the size of our homes. Often these pursuits are just as futile as trying to wrap a piece of tape around a banana and say to ourselves, "All better"

Instead, there are a host of things that are, indeed, broken, which we could fix if we tried to determine ourselves, our time, our resources, our attention.

Things like homelessness.




A world is waiting to see if we're going to ever realize that we have all that we need to roll up our sleeves and dig into the real work we are called to do. Otherwise, the things we choose to fix won't ever make a genuine change in the lives of others, or ourselves.