“Where are all the staples? I just need one freakin’ staple. What good is a stapler with no staples?”

This tirade raged in my head for about five minutes – about five minutes and one second too long. I’m in my home office, looking at the notes I just captured on a call, wanting to staple the pages together – and there are no staples. Not a single one, and I am beyond irate about it. 

If I were in my office today, I’d have a box of them in my desk drawer. I’d reach in, grab a strip, and refill my Swingline. I’d slam it down on those papers and the hot metal would pierce them instantly, connecting those pages for the rest of time. Done.

Instead, I’m working from home during the pandemic, and I have no staples. 

And then it hit me, like a ten-ton, heavy thing. Right now I’m allowing all 0.003 ounces of this staple to carry a whole lot of weight. And in the meantime, there’s so much going on right outside that should carry real weight.

The injustice of George Floyd’s death and racism should carry weight.

The pain of small business owners with storefronts that have been burned and looted should carry weight.

The struggle of the poor, hungry, and homeless should carry weight.

The hatred, evil, and affliction in the world should carry weight.

These things should carry more weight than this 0.003 ounce staple…

These things should feel like pounds. They should feel like tons. Their deadweight should crush us. 

These things should be heavy on our hearts. Carrying them should feel heavy, and instead of just setting them aside and moving on comfortably with our lives, we should come together and carry them as a community. Side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, color-by-color, we should carry them… because heavy things are easier to carry when we’re not alone.

I’ve spent the last two years writing about depth in our lives, and what we’re facing right needs to be part of that conversation. Racism, injustice, poverty, violence… If we don’t include conversations about these things in the lives and homes we’re creating – if we side step them and insulate ourselves from these things and the people they’re affecting – it ‘s a sin. 

As a Christian man, that word “sin” carries immense weight for me. I am Biblically called to stand up for the oppressed. I’m Biblically called to put my Sunday morning beliefs into action on Monday, and Tuesday, and Wednesday… and if I don’t, it’s a sin.

This cuts beyond Christianity. Christian or not, we ALL need to stand up for the oppressed. We are ALL called to change our perspective, to keep the little things little, and to raise up for the things that really matter. We’re ALL called to see the heavy things… the ones that we need to lift up and carry together because they’re too massive and unwieldy to carry alone. 

The Takeaway

This is a turning point for me personally and hopefully for you as well. It’s a time to quit focusing so much energy on the little things that make no difference in our lives and steal our depth. It’s a time to refocus on the big things – the ones that really matter. 

Depth in our lives takes work, it requires commitment, and it challenges us to be intentional about how we live our lives. Subscribe here for weekly emails from Depth Not Width. Together, we’ll focus on everything we can do together today to create great lives and communities in the midst of these challenges.

Join me.

– John