Monday, May 5, 2008


I let him get out of my sight. Only for a minute. He and my daughter chased each other around a corner and into the bathroom. They were laughing. Then my daughter came out, and there was silence.

Silence from a toddler is an omen. I walked through the guest bedroom, approaching its adjoining bathroom with unease. As I drew closer, I could hear something. A spinning sound. A swirling sound. A something falling to the floor sound.

It was a roll of toilet paper: 80-sheets of plush, 2-ply, Extra Soft Cottonelle. The boy looked at me, his mischievous gaze replaced with alarm. He removed his hand from the roll and fled the scene. I was left with a barely dressed cardboard roll and a floor blanketed in white. Then I did what any good parent would do, I plugged my fingers into the cardboard roll and started spinning in reverse.

An appreciation for factory-packaged toilet paper naturally arises when you find yourself trying to re-thread 80 squares of Cottonelle. If you pull too tightly, you rip it at its perforations; if you wrap it too quickly, the edges are uneven. And no matter how gentle, deliberate, and methodical you are in returning your unraveled roll to manufactured form, it's near impossible to do. The end result is always a metastasized mess that you surely wouldn't display if your mother was coming into town.

But the paper is no less useful. Its presentation has changed, but its contents have not. And the same core still centers every skewed square. In fact, when unraveling occurs, the core does its main function: holding things together. Tidiness and tightness are secondary, matters of form.

I fear that too often--in the ominous silence of the heart--our greater concern is form over function. Sunday dress and small group prayer requests are cordial and compact; the raw asymmetry of doubt, struggle, and self-harm are too messy for the bathroom, let alone a sanctuary. We leave unraveling to toddlers and therapy sessions.

Fortunately, we have a Good Parent who, upon seeing the messes we make on the floor (or elsewhere), will secure us to our core. He will re-wrap us. He will rewind us. He will hold us together.

1 comment:

Warriorofprayer said...

True. There is noy much i can go against or anything on this blog so i shall answer to your other blogs which seem to have 0 comments.
First, Blisters.
Habits are not always set in stone at the middle aged. New habits can be started every day. Like smoking a boy who has never smoked his life, grows up and starts smoking at middle aged. It began to become a habit but he wanted to quit because it was destroying him. He may quit. It is not set where he cannot. Just like a man who all his life has served satan and realizes wat a big mistake he's made can come to god. It is not writtin in stone wat a person can do w/ his life, wat habits he picks up, he may give up. God is merciful, God is forgiving. He gave us free will for a reason. IF he wasn't merciful and forgiving as he is then i would b screwed as would many others cuz we aren't perfect. habits always have a reason for developing. for attention, loneliness, to be kewl. but a person may change his ways. Life doesn't depend on running. It depends on God. God can get us through anything and everything. w/ him, all is possible. although i do find myself running a lot, rather than talking to God and asking for help. i find that my weakness is asking for help and trying to do things myself. but i can't, not w/o God, not w/o others. So i will change this habit, b/c as you said it is set in wet concrete but there is only one thing that i can set in stone. and that's my love for god, my king, my father, my family, love all in particular. and that is habit that i'd set in stone. loving others, and a willingness to help but NOT takin it all on me. I have just started my blog and for six months i will name ppl that are in need of help and that need god. any christians out there, use ur weapon of prayer to help others but don't handle things urself. deliver it to god. let him handle it if he wishes it to b handled. and if u find the time, visit my blog and pray for those i have listed in need. and to answer to asking it is true. god helps those who ask of him. since i agree i will go. if any out there decide to check out my blog visit it at