“Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap
POP POP!” – White and Nerdy, Weird Al Yankovic
Who doesn’t love bubble wrap? Do you have to be white and nerdy to love it? As I am both white and nerdy, I can’t say for sure. However, I remember loving Weird Al’s bubble wrap line when I first heard it in college. Bubble wrap is good stuff. Want to send a vase to Aunt Myrtle? Bubble wrap. Want to annoy your siblings? Bubble wrap. Want to make friends with little kids? Bubble wrap. And let’s not forget that it is the poor man’s whoopee cushion. I, like Weird Al, like bubble wrap.
Sometimes, though, we want bubble wrap at the wrong times. We want a life without negative consequences. We like consequences when they benefit us but we want to be shielded from the effects of poor decisions. We want ‘casual safe sex,’ porn without lasting impact, gossip without broken relationships, love without heartbreak, substance abuse without poor health, procrastination without stress, and popularity without peer pressure. Kids, teenagers, college students, and adults want to pull out the bubble wrap all the time. Sometimes we even want to bubble wrap each other. Parents desire to shield their children. We’ve met bubble wrap parents, we might even have bubble wrap parents.
God is not a bubble wrap Father.
God does not wrap us up in plastic bubbles. Not because he is negligent or cruel but because He wants us to experience the great joy of loving. A movie from my high school days captured this reality in a very worldly way. In the movie Bubble Boy (this is not an endorsement), the main character was shielded from any potential source of harm. It worked, he could not be harmed. He also couldn’t love.
God doesn’t bubble wrap us, but he still protects us from the consequences that are too big for us. He rejects those temporary, unfeeling plastic bubbles for the arms of the Eternal Son. Next time you look on the wounds from Christ’s scourging, don’t imagine him hunched over a pillar while he is being struck. Instead, know that he was shielding you.
He is far better than bubble wrap.