Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Carpenter

The carpenter's hands were rough and calloused. The scars, the lines, the marks all showing the years of experience this man had undergone crafting the home of thousands of others, shaping and framing countless lives. His eyes, wrinkled with wisdom and compassion were piercing and penetrating. The carpenter had a way of seeing into a person's heart, and picking out the very best details. In fact, it wasn't just the details of a soul that he could spot. The carpenter had the gift of seeing the details in everything, making him the top in his craft.

I've been acquainted with the carpenter for almost 24 years. Over the years, I have worked with him on numerous occasions. He carefully and flawlessly lays out each plan with exactness. No detail has he over overlooked, no aspect he has not ascertained. His methods are unique; he never shows the full plan until the construction is complete.

"Trust me," he says. That is not easily offered. But to gain it, the carpenter will show me bit by bit, what my magnificent structure could look like upon completion.

With the small portions I am privileged to see, I instantly begin reconstructing his plans.

"Add an extra staircase here, and take out that wall there. Don't you think a bay window would look nice there? I have always loved silver appliances, and I want five walk-in closets." The carpenter, looks at me then looks down and his feet, chuckling softly to himself.

"No, I think we'll stick with the plan," he says knowingly. Frustrated, angry, childish, I wonder why it can't go my way, the way I had planned and envisioned. I have no control. The carpenter will do as he sees best. He reminds me of our contract, which states that I would give him all license to complete the project as he sees fit.

My pride keeps me from the carpenter for a short while. But it's my curiosity to see what will happen next that propels my humility. I finally find some, and return to the carpenter. In my absence, he has been busy at work. The framing is starting to come together, and for the first time I begin to see what the carpenter must see. This increases my humility, and strengthens my trust.

Time continues to pass, the carpenter continues construction carefully and meticulously. One day, I look up at the site that has become my life. It is complete. But what's more, the structure is more magnificent than anything I could have ever imagined using my own limited and short-sighted vision. Every piece is carefully constructed into another. Nothing is left unfinished, unperfected.

I look to my faithful, unchanging carpenter. My stalwart, constant friend; my trusted companion. Love and gratitude fill my heart, as well as an unworthy, undeserving feeling. Why should I receive something so perfectly beautiful? I fought, and opposed his plans the whole way.

But before I can utter my meager thanks, the carpenter turns to me for a final time.

"Well done," he tells me. "Welcome home."

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