May 29 - National Paperclip Day
What is the job of a paperclip? That seems like an easy question with an easy answer. It holds stuff together.
What does it hold together? Another easy answer. It holds papers together.
It was originally designed to hold labels on fabric. Could a paperclip still be used for that? Sure, you say. What else could it hold together? How about a hem? How about a broken necklace? How about holding a light chain together? Yeah, sure.
How about people? Can it hold people together? Oh, now that seems a little out of the capacity of a paperclip. It is just a little wire thing that was invented in about 1867 by Samuel Fey. No, it's not really something that can hold people together. But wait. As I read the history books about life in Norway in the early years of World War 2, I read about how Germany was invading Norway and killing the Jewish people there. It was incorrectly believed that a Norwegian Jew had invented the paperclip and so there was a secret plan for everyone who supported the Jewish people to wear a paperclip on their lapel. It was a silent protest and symbol of resistance against the invasion of the Nazis from Germany. The secret worked for awhile until the Nazi army discovered the reason for the paperclip so they banned the wearing of paperclips. Sounds like the paperclip was holding people together.
There is another story of a school in Whitwell, Tennessee who collected over 30 million paperclips. It was a part of a learning project about the Holocaust and the terrible things that happened in Europe to over 11 million people. Six million were Jews and over 1.5 million victims were children. These school children in Tennessee collected paperclips over several years as a way to fight racism and hatred. Their project brought hope and inspiration to their whole community. Looks like the paperclip brought that community together.
The paperclip is a great way to hold things together. The Bible tells of something else that binds us together. That is LOVE. Love is what brings unity to our world. Oh how we need this message of unity right now! The world is full of hatred and sin. We need God. We need love. Will you please wear a paperclip on your shirt today to remind yourself to love all people? Thanks.
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Writen by Sue Van Hal, Children's Church Leader