Sawdust and Tears.
Being a craftsman in a small shop gives me a unique opportunity that others miss out on during the day to day grind of work and life. The typical job demands full attention to customers, inventory, data entry and more. Being a teacher of middle school students during the day I find it very difficult to have a peaceful thought or relaxed moment while at work. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being able to interact with and invest in today's youth, but the ability to relax and just engage in metacognition is limited while keeping the "withitness" of the classroom. Fortunately, there is a sanctuary for me to retreat to.
My sanctuary is found in a small shop on my small property in a small town. Here I go to step away from the world into a place where math, art, nature and tools collide. Rarely in this sanctuary do I carve in silence, though. It is not only in silence that one can find peace but many times it is the reflection process that comforts the soul.
During my time of carving, I frequently find myself being swept away in poetic phrases of Charles Spurgeon, the contrasting commands of AW Tozer, the passionate pleading of Paul Washer, and the emotional energy of Leonard Ravenhill. It has been more than a few times that these men of God have stirred my soul to tears and my hand to lay down the Dremel and carving for a silent moment of prayer, thanksgiving and worship.
Perhaps the greatest work that takes place in my shop is not the custom carvings that take weeks of work or the unique pieces carved in nature's woods but the greatest work is the carving away of the old man that Christ is doing on this man behind the dust mask. I hope to use this blog as an opportunity to share my thoughts with the understanding that it is only God that can work in and through them to the conviction of the soul and I would have it no other way.