Joined Together in Adversity


A weld is an amazing thing.  The amount of force it takes to break a properly formed weld is greater than the force it will take to break the material it is joining together.  I’ve seen this in action and it is actually a little frightening.  The weld was joining a structure called a spandrel beam to the side of a new office tower I was working on as a carpenter.  The beam weighed about 18000lbs and had four weld plates that had been cast in place so that it could be welded to the side of the building where there were four identically placed weld plates.  Each plate was only about two feet long and as I watched this welder doing his job I commented to him about how amazing it was that once the riggers released this beam the only thing holding it in place was these four welds.  He told me that each weld could support thousands of pounds per inch.  Amazing.

All a weld really is is a superheated material that is almost instantly bonded to the metal that is also melted by the heat.  As the two substances melt they coalesce to form an incredibly strong bond.  This is not dissimilar to the way that strong relationships are formed.  As we stay close through times of crisis we can become inseparably bonded to other people.  Of course the precautions a welder must take also apply to relationships.  If the two elements being joined are positioned incorrectly the end product will not function as its designer intended.  If we are misaligned with others we too function incorrectly; consider for example relationships that are codependent or based on cycles of addiction, these misalignments cause the relationships to actually damage the people involved.  If the substrate used is too weak the weld will break under pressure.  If our relationships are joined by insubstantial elements they too will snap under pressure even though they were bonded initially through times of stress.  Take for example some of the online relationships we build in a time of personal need.  I don’t want to stretch the analogy too far but there are a lot of interesting parallels.

Personally speaking I am very glad for the folks around me that I am being welded to through some difficult times.  How’s everything lining up for you?

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