Do you remember the game Elastics?
When I was a kid there was always an Elastics season each year – sometime after yo-yo season and marbles season!
We used a continuous piece of elastic.
Two of us would step into the elastic circle and stretch it out into a rectangle shape with the backs of our legs.
The rest of us then took turns to complete a series of jumps and twists and tricky manoeuvres over the stretched-out elastic.
We usually chanted a rhyme as we went and the elastic would move from ankle height to knee height then waist and even neck height if you were particularly athletic!
A good elastic was a prized possession.
A good elastic was one that could stand endless stretching into various shapes.
A good elastic would ping back into shape after each stretch and it could be relied on to keep on keeping on without snapping and ruining the game!
Years after I stopped playing elastics I came across the word again while I was thinking about love.
Like many parents, I wondered how I was going to love our second child when my heart seemed full with love for our first born….it turns out it was easy …. love didn’t break or snap – it stretched and changed shape to embrace our second daughter and then our son.
Later I wondered how I could love one of our kids through a tough bunch of years. Again, it turns out that love did not break – it stretched and changed shape and our relationship was kept safe.
This happened time and time again – in circumstances when it seemed that love would break it stretched instead and eventually I realised that this is because of God!
God’s love is elastic – always stretching and changing shape to make space for us …. prickly bits and all…. because he loves us and its relationship with us that God is always pursuing!
Take a look around you – who needs to experience God’s elastic love from you this week?
A few years back I came a nasty cropper!
One of my daughters and my baby granddaughter had come to stay.
Her husband was away and so we were going to hang out together so I could help with the baby and give my daughter a bit of a break.
In the middle of the night I woke to the sound of the baby crying and - before I was really awake - I was up and out of bed and racing to the nursery. I wanted to get to the baby before she woke my daughter.
I went down a flight of stairs I had been up and down countless times - but – did I mention I wasn’t actually awake yet?
I didn’t turn on the light and I didn’t use the hand rail and so I went down that flight of stairs in a way I had never done before!
My forehead connected with the door frame at the bottom of the stairs with such a whack that there was no way my daughter was going to sleep through the noise!
She spent the rest of the night dealing with her crying baby and an impressively concussed mother! So much for getting a break!
You know, that’s so much like me!
Not the falling down the stairs bit – the rescuing bit.
I was set on rescuing my daughter from another sleepless night and so I rushed head long into superhero mode…only to fall down the stairs and end up being no good to anyone for a while!
As I nursed my sore and strikingly bruised head it occurred to me that most of the time, people don’t need to be rescued. Most of the time people – you and me - we need company for the journey; someone to stand with us in difficult places.
This occurred to God long, long ago!
And he came to stand with us and for us as Jesus.
Who do you know who might need company in the place they live right now?