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South Texas Living

On the Road to Forever: Unified like mercury

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On the Road to Forever
January 16, 2013 | 2,633 views | Post a comment

The flu season always conjures up some childhood memories. I can remember one particular year; I was probably 5, maybe 6 years old, when the whole family was down with the illness. We lived in a two-story house, the bedrooms on the second floor, and to save steps and energy, my mother had us children all on a makeshift bed in the first floor dining room where she could nurse us all at once. My mother was blind in one eye and couldn’t see out of the other, posing challenges for her rearing of four children, but we all swore she had eyes in the back of her head.

Anyway, I don’t know if you remember the old mercury thermometer or not, but the glass-tube thermometer had to be shaken violently to compress the mercury back to a state below body temperature. I can picture it now, my mother shaking that thing and striking something solid in her apron pocket and breaking the glass tube, spilling the mercury out on the floor. The “Don’t touch that” warning meant nothing to four, totally bored-out-of-their-minds children. I guess you know one can’t pick up mercury with the fingers. The more it gets squeezed, the more it separates and runs away. But, one can also coax it back together to make one puddle. The game was soon foiled when Mom returned to clean up the spill, but the game was instantly on again as the comedy unfolded watching her futile attempts in picking up the elusive metallic puddle. I think she finally got it cleaned up with the help of my brother and a couple of spoons in spite of all the laughter while chasing the mischievous mobile metal. Now they tell us it’s dangerous.

I couldn’t help but draw a parallel in my mind of this story and the repetitive statement, “Congress and the government, in general, are broken.” Like mercury escaped from its confines, government officials, on all levels, seem unable to come together on any decisions. There are champions of the American public that attempt to coax our representatives back together on issues, only to have some fractured group or lobbyist come along, to again splatter them out into every unreasonable realm of thinking. It’s hard for me to believe that the American public wants to immortalize Caesar on a coin to cover our debts. The wise thing to do is stop buying things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t even like. Wise advice for all.

[Ephesians 4] The church is the spiritual kingdom of God and Christ. Paul writes that the unity of church fellowship can only be accomplished through unity in the Spirit. The church is all about God and the thoughts of the world have no part in it. The members of the church must become one, the body of Christ, “... so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v. 12-13). Why? “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful schemes” (v.14). The body of Christ cannot be unified with the properties of mercury. One cannot live in the body as he lived in the world, yet one can live in the world as he lives in the body.

Just think what kind of government we would enjoy if our representatives carried the words of God (vs. 17-32) into the law-making chambers of Congress. Just think of the wonderful life we could all enjoy if all God’s children would live His Word. Don’t just be a reader, be a doer.

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at

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