06 August 2019
Carpentry 101 ~ Tools of the Trade
Greetings Dear Reader,
At seven years old, wielding my Grandfather’s checker-faced framing hammer was nearly impossible. It was both too heavy and too long. It was the largest hammer on his wall so, it was the one I wanted to use. He gently explained that you always had to use the right tool for the job. He also allowed me to practice driving nails in a board with his smaller finishing hammer.
The Father, a piece of flying sheetrock and a thunderstorm contrived to provide me with tools my size. That story, however, must be found in Sheetrock on the Road if you wish to see it, Dear Reader. For now, I must focus on the tools a carpenter uses. My Grandfather had one of those peg-board walls where every tool had a hanging spot. It was outlined with the spots where the tools hung.
When we would work wood together, he would take the time to show me a new tool and how to use it. He would explain the difference between the tool we were learning and others like it. He talked about quality and care. His instructions were loving but also firm. He was the kind of man who spoke about respecting the inventor of the tool by using it for its purpose. I also once saw him give away his favorite plane to a man he thought needed it more than he did.
The Carpenter of Nazareth would also be one who respected his tools and their purpose. He had fewer tool choices. He would care for them because it would be wrong not to do so. He applied his skill with his tools to shape the wood to its intended purpose. He was a boy and then a man who plied a trade having learned to use his tools properly.
My tools are the keyboard, the blank page, and crafting worlds Dear Reader. Whatever yours are, we can use them well if we choose to do so. We can employ the talents we have and use the right tools for the right job. We can choose to honor the things that allow us to ply our trade and so honor the one who provided them for us. There is a place where an old chisel is lying in the corner forgotten and rusted. It is not my place to say what should be done with it.
My Grandfather would take that chisel and clean it with something to remove the rust. He would carefully restore it to its purpose. He would then test it to see that it was fit for use. Once he had cleaned and restored it he would make part of his own collection or pass it on to someone who needed it.
The Carpenter does the same with us. He finds us where we are and restores us to the state of usefulness with love and grace. He hones and sharpens us. He finds a place for us and never gives us away. We are designed for the use of shaping the Kingdom that will come so that others can get a glimpse of it here and now. What tools are part of your trade Dear Reader? How do you care for them?
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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