It’s a perennial favorite! Every Christmas Eve, we gather the family, go to church, come home, open one present and then watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”. We always laugh at Uncle Billy tripping over the trash cans and re-quote the line, “This is a very interesting situation!!” Mr. Potter seems to be more evil each year and a small lump forms in the throat when George re-discovers Zuzu’s petals. While the main theme is the value of one life lived in sacrifice to others, there are many smaller themes that run throughout the movie. These sub-themes are potent, profound and enduring.
ZuZu has come home from school with a temperature and is sent to bed to rest and look after her new gift, a flower. Her father, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), comes home and goes up to check on young Zuzu. As she lifts up her flower to show to her daddy, a few of the petals fall off. With memorable cuteness, Zuzu says, “Paste it, daddy!” George than pretends to re-attach the petals, only to carefully hide them in his pant pocket. He then urges her to go to sleep so she can dream of a whole garden of flowers. The flower was “broken” and she asked daddy to fix it. Her beautiful flower was fading and dying and she could do nothing to repair it except offer it to her father. Granted, my analogy is about to become flawed, but this image has a pearl of wisdom for us.
We have each been given a gift – a talent, a position, a friend, a Life! There comes a time for all of us when we look at that gift and realize that we have broken it. Either through abuse or neglect, we all eventually find ourselves sitting with tear-streaked face, watching petals fall to the floor. Eager to fix it and make it new again, we search for paste and glue, tape and string to re-fashion the forming disaster that is growing before us…and more petals fall! In helpless abandon, we hide our gift and pretend it never existed. “If I ignore my failure, it will go away!”
Adam & Eve are the first to take a perfect gift and squander it on a moment of risk and excitement. They, too, ‘pasted’ leaves to hide their shame but the petals continued to fall. Eventually, God came and asked why they hid in the shadows. Only He could truly “paste” everything back together as it should have been…through His Son!
Peter claimed to follow Jesus all the way to His death. But when the moment of courage came, Peter took his gift of discipleship and pulled 3 petals off and tossed them on the floor – “I don’t know Him!”. A few days later, Jesus pasted him back together with a question. “Do you love me?” He then challenged him to “Feed My sheep.” Judas Iscariot also made a choice to betray and destroy his gift, but he never came back to the Father for forgiveness and love. He died at the end of his own rope.
This is what I think happens:
I know I have screwed up! My shame is deep. My guilt is complete. But it is too complete and too deep for any hope of recovery. There is no one strong enough to fix what I have done. I will forever be this old broken flower with falling petals. After several attempts to fix myself, I give up and settle for dreams of gardens of flowers instead of the real thing. George Bailey is a good guy; a great dad; but he could not paste the petals – he could only pretend to fix it…sort of like you and me!
I believe that this song helps to capture our fear of surrender; our fear of letting God heal and restore. The question is simple: Is God Strong Enough to Paste you – for good? Listen and read the words as Stacy Orrico sings…
Until we understand that only God is strong enough to forgive and restore, we will always be looking for reasons to condemn ourselves to a life of second-best and “if-onlys”. It’s time to come to the True Father and simply say, “Paste it, Daddy!” (I John 1:9)
OPEN MIC: SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
- How have you tried to fix yourself instead of relying on your Father to paste it?
- What is a lesson that you have learned from your brokenness and God’s restoration?
- Share your thoughts below for others to read. Someone needs to hear your story!