I don’t know when it started and I sure don’t know why. Maybe it’s always been this way, but we live in a world that segregates. It’s not always bad. I would find it rather awkward if I bought shoes at a fruit stand, but you know what I’m saying don’t you? It’s been like this for quite some time now. Black vs. white, Rich vs. poor, gay vs. straight, republican vs. democrat. “Oh, you’re presbyterian? Oh, well you can go over in that line over there. Oh, you were born into money? Well, you won’t fit in here, you should probably go over there, somewhere. Your hair, yeah, you, it’s kind of different from mine. I can’t really get into that, we should probably not hang out in the same circle.” Wow. We sure do have a hard time fitting things together. It can be done. Builders do it all the time.
What do a 2×4 a nail a bucket of mud and a shingle have in common? Nothing. They are in all ways nothing alike, but a builder doesn’t care. A builder doesn’t care about the fact that all of these materials are different from the next. A builder doesn’t care that they came from different factories in different parts of the country. A builder cares about the character of each of these things and that builder cares about putting them all together to make something useful and beautiful.
Have you ever seen a house with all the 2×4’s in one pile and all the drywall in another pile and and and… No, you haven’t, that would be ludicrous. A home, a church, a warehouse, a school, these buildings are all made of separate components that without one another would fail. Try putting a wall together with just lumber. Good luck. Don’t invite me over when it’s windy out.
Now I’m sure some of you might be saying “Well, Emily, builders have an advantage. Building materials don’t have brains and opinions. Building materials don’t fight you.” Well, I don’t like to be argumentative, but if you’ve ever worked with them, yes, they sure do fight you. I don’t like to admit it but there’s a few times when I was even a little younger than I am now that actually let a crooked 2×4 or a heavy sheet of drywall defeat me. I just couldn’t get the darn thing to do what it was intended to do and I gave up! Probably after I kicked it, but I gave up.
Wouldn’t it be something if The Lord gave up on us for not doing what we were intended to do?
He is the ultimate builder. The master craftsman. I wonder if He’s using an Estwing?
My point is (and yes, I’m getting to it) that whatever you are, a 2×4, a nail, a shingle, you are useful and beautiful in the Lord’s design. A good builder doesn’t throw out a crooked piece of wood. He works with it, tweaks it, makes it beautiful even. And so does The Lord with us. We aren’t in a scrap pile. After all the mistakes we’ve made he’s still trying to make us useful. Go out there friend, be a builder. Work with all materials, learn how they work and why, love them.
So amen for crooked boards and knots in wood. Amen for stubborn pieces of drywall. Amen for being different in this big beautiful house The Lord has made.
-Emily Cadenhead, mission worker