If you are like me, you used “shelter in place” to catch up on your “honey do” projects.
I raked leaves, spread mulch, cleaned and sealed the deck, and pressure washed the house. But there was still one project I procrastinated on.
Each April, I have the house treated for termites. I follow up by going into the crawl space. I don’t look forward to it. I go because I want to be sure the technician left the ground cloth intact and everything is fine.
Last year, I had to repair a few ducts that had a leak. A few pieces of insulation needed to be put back in place. One duct needed a strap. This is where I got caught a year later.
Understand that I am cheap. Last year, when I was at my local home improvement store, I purchased the cheapest duct tape they sold. After all, it’s gray. Why spend $4 more when it is “just” duct tape?
I learned that not all duct tapes are created equal. Something told me that when I went into the crawlspace this year, I would have to make a strap out of duct tape. I wanted it to be strong and stand the test of time.
Last year’s duct tape wasn’t strong. The strap I had made wasn’t strong enough and came loose. The duct had fallen to the ground. When that happened, it separated from the main trunk. That meant I was heating my crawl space this winter instead of heating my house.
Using the strong duct tape I purchased a few weeks ago, I reattached the duct to the trunk, making sure it was secure. Then I made a strap out of the strong duct tape. I pulled a piece that was almost three feet long and then went back over itself so that the sticky sides stuck to one another. It was nailed to the joist, ran under the duct and then nailed to the other side to the joist. It was secure.
As I stated, not all duct tapes are created equal. The first one was gray and was almost all plastic. It didn’t have the backing the strong one had. The strong one was black and the manufacturer rated it as being very strong. I paid more but felt secure with my purchase and its ability to get the job done for the long haul.
Could the same be true about faith? After all, doesn’t all Christianity look alike? They all believe in Jesus. They all celebrate his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead.
I learned with duct tape if I wanted the job done, I had to use something that was more than gray. I needed a product that could do what it said it could do. The gray tape over-promised but under delivered. The duct came loose and I heated the crawl space.
The men and women I serve at the Charlotte Rescue Mission were sold a gospel (gray duct tape) that said, “If you are good, then God loves you. But, if you are bad, then God withholds that love from you.” Christianity is like black duct tape; it was designed to do the job. Christianity has never been, “If you do blank then I love you but if you don’t do blank, then I withhold that love.” Rather, it’s about God’s unconditional love that was purchased on the cross. God just loves us. Period. End of sentence.
I still have a little of the gray tape left. My real hero is the black tape. It does what it says it will do.
I’ll be back soon. Until then, live well my friend.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is the president/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Go to www.charlotterescuemission.org and go to “contact us.” Just ask for Pam.