Friday, May 23, 2014

At the Hands of a Craftsman

What do you like to do? When considering the perfect occupation or weekend retreat, what would you do?

My uncle was a carpenter. His basement was full of enormous power tools -- lathes, saws and all manner of woodworking amenities. The smell of scorched wood, and crackling curls of maple -- it was captivating. His tools, my foray into craftsmanship.

My nana taught me needlework as soon as I was able to balance a hoop and needle. I loved sitting at her feet, her bag open in front of me. I'd root through embroidery hanks and thimbles -- so much potential. Her tools, my toys.

Then there's the unfaithful husband. The drug-addicted daughter. The death of a parent. The bankruptcy. The cancer.

No, you haven't turned a page. These are tools also. Not all of them my experience, but close enough. These are the tools God has used to change my life, or the lives of my friends.

Christians catch a lot of flack for worshipping a God who would hurt to heal, or tear down to rebuild. And right now, trust me, we are knee-deep in teardown. But, I have learned that something good will come of it. Oh, I can't say that I'm gushing about the process, but truth tells me this is for a season.

The Bible contains account after account of folks who, throughout history have experienced the same phenomena as this -- God's sometimes sharp tools applied to their lives -- but this poem says it pretty well also:

The Master Weaver's Plan
My life is but a weaving
Between the Lord and me;
I may not choose the colors–
He knows what they should be.
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While I can see it only
On this, the under side.
Sometimes He weaves in sorrow,
Which seems so strange to me;
But I will trust His judgment
And work on faithfully.
‘Tis He who fills the shuttle,
And He knows what is best;
So I shall weave in earnest,
And leave to Him the rest.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
-Author Unknown
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