The pages of my fairly new journal are already coming loose.

And, yes, I can relate to falling apart, coming loose.  I fall away.  I try putting my life back together, but I discover that some areas of my life are still out of order.  Sometimes I’m not sure where I fit in.

I’ve been using different size paperclips to keep the journal together.  Small paperclips hold together a clump of loose pages, and larger paperclips attach those smaller bundles to the sturdy cover.

This whole thing is a picture of why we need each other.  When I come loose and feel like I’m falling apart, I need to be attached to others.  Sometimes I’m bundled together with others who have also come loose.  We gather together as each of us confesses to the ways we have individually come undone.  It is actually our “undone-ness” that we have in common and that paradoxically brings us back together.

This reunited sense of order and togetherness is good, but incomplete by itself.  Just as larger paperclips hold a small group of loose papers to the sturdy cover, I need to find ways to also connect with people who have a stronger, more mature hold on Christ.  I like attachment to that small, select group of others with whom I share so much in common, but I need to cling to a larger community – to the Book as a whole.

It is in this broader, big paperclip way that I realize that I as an individual page am graciously included in the larger story of God that He began writing thousands of years ago.