broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Friday, August 04, 2006

Tool Time

I am so happy – the heat wave broke with yesterday’s rain and today I was able to get into my shop and spend some serious time with my tools. What a GREAT day!

Today I made a board. Not just any board, mind you, it is the first board of a new project that might turn into a Christmas present, but don’t tell my family members cause that might give away the surprise.

This board was kind of an accident. It is actually made of two different boards, just small pieces of wood used as packing materials. They were rough hewn, really thin, odd sized and definitely not square. The grain was obviously running in every which direction and looked for all the world like scrap wood, ready for the trash bin - except that I am a Master Cabinetmaker by trade. I looked deeper than the surface and saw what the untrained eye couldn’t.

So I took these two little odd sized boards to my workshop and began dealing with all the imperfections. I won’t bore you with the details, but after quite a long time and the application of skill and some talent, I now have one board. It is not yet cut to size and it has no finish on it, so its final beauty might still be lost on some. But let me tell you, even to the untrained eye it is now magnificent.

You see, I have in my possession a nearly perfectly book-matched piece of tiger birds eye maple – yes, BOTH tiger AND birds eye in one little board. This small piece of glorious, wonderful wood would have been thrown away as useless refuse had it not been for the eye and skill of a Master Cabinetmaker.

You must already know what I’m going to say next. You see, life has a way, sometimes, of leaving us feeling like we are ready for the trash heap. We feel small and helpless, out of shape, rough to the touch, and just plain ugly. And to make matters worse, it seems like we are headed in every direction at once and, as a result, we just go in circles and never get anywhere.

But there is a Master Designer that sees beyond what everyone else sees. Sure, it might take some cutting and matching, some planning and sanding and some abrasive hand work – and I can guarantee it won’t likely be comfortable or sweet. But, you are in the hands of the Master, and the Master sees even more than you can see. If you are willing to go through the necessary shaping process, you will eventually turn out as the Master intends.

And let me share more good news – even before you get to the final reward awaiting all who love the Master Designer, even to the casual observer you will be magnificent! It will be impossible to deny that you have been with the Master because just one look will reveal the handiwork of God displayed in the life of one of his broken kids who, quite honestly, doesn’t look so “broken” anymore. Anyone who casually saw my little pieces of scrap wood will hardly believe the beauty and splendor of the finished product, and the same goes for you. Hang in there, fellow traveler. We are being worked on in the workshop of the Master Designer, and when we’re done we are gonna SHINE!

Glad to be back in the shop – and God’s shop, too.


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