The tie that binds is a poetic reference to relationships. It is our shared beliefs and experiences that link us with others that always have a hold on us. Common interests, adventures, knowledge, recurrent events and acquaintance can create friendship and love but the “tie that binds” is a much more lyrical way of saying it. “Ties” are a reference to the things that we have in common with another person and interests that we share. “Binds” are the feelings of unity that a shared interest or experience creates, meaning relationships and situations that unite people together to form lasting relationships.
John Fawcett, orphaned at age 12, gave us one of the most beloved farewell hymns of all time. More Christians upon parting have tearfully sung this hymn more than any other. He understood beauty and the sacrifice required to attain it; his words are the sort of legacy that we should remember. He reminds us that it is the fellowship of the holy spirit that leads us to encouragement, consolation, affection and compassion, which bring joy and beauty when we are of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, and intent on one purpose.
“Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above. Before the Father’s throne we pour our ardent prayers; our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares. When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain but we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again. This glorious hope revives our courage by the way; while each in expectation lives and longs to see the day. From sorrow, toil, and pain, and sin, we shall be free; and perfect love and friendship reign through all eternity.” John Fawcett
Regardless of how isolated and alone an adoptee may feel, Fawcett reminds us that to some extent we are all inextricably connected. We are all unique, yet individually we share common elements of our collective human heritage, preserved in history, mind, and traditions that are carried forth into future generations. No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others. The tracking of our ancestry through our blood, our genes and our written and oral histories, leads us to find our place in the world and in our families—reminding ourselves that we are all related. We all share one irrefutable tie with the web of life that tenuously binds us to this planet. We are all connected through six degrees of separation. Some members of a family look and act nothing like each other or the parents, yet the members of a family share a bond stronger than their differences. In all human societies a family is based on blood and ancestry and formal relationships, including the sacraments of holy matrimony and legal adoption, but families may also be defined as informal groupings of people united as a result of exceptional circumstances, notable events, and shared experiences. Separation from those we care about gives us inward pain but we shall always remain joined in heart. Glorious hope gives us the courage that we will meet again someday.
John Fawcett teaches regardless of how a family is formed, the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love is ultimately the strongest bond that joins us together, our hearts, and our minds and our souls to discover perfect love and friendships that last through all eternity.