The Wood Carver
The woodcarver whittles, carves and whittles some more. He has large, work calloused hands that could easily break the delicate piece he works with. Thankfully, he understands gentleness and so he works with those large hands on the small piece of wood and does so with precision. He shapes, forms, molds. He sands away the roughness, the unnecessary. He makes a shapeless piece of wood into a masterpiece. There is hope in the work of his hands because he is confident in his work. He knows what the finished masterpiece will be. He envisions every detail, every curve, every angle.
Others come, with ideas about the wood he works with. They give their opinions readily, disagreeing with some of his work.
"Shave more of this off!"
"That corner needs more smoothing!"
He smiles at them without a response, unfazed by their demands, for he is the woodcarver and he needs no one's approval for the work he does. The process moves slower than expected by other's. He takes his time, cherishes his work. He watches over his piece of wood, his masterpiece in the making, shielding it from the opinionated hands of others. He has been carving wood forever and he handles each piece wisely and carefully.
When at last the carving is complete, he holds it up with his large, calloused hands and watches with pleasure as the light falls on all the curves and angles. He studies his work, remembering the places that took longer to whittle than others. He loves those places the most for they represent his time, his care, his love of his work.
He sets the piece on display in his shop, where anyone who enters can see his work. Those who disagreed, they come ready to critique, to offer their opinion. They are left speechless though, at the sight. They see, now that the work is complete, that this woodcarver carved something from that wood that none of them could have carved. They see the intricate detail and know, in the end, that he created a masterpiece, a work of art. The woodcarver just smiles and nods as each of them leaves, heads bowed and mouths silent.
When the shop is quiet again and no one else is there to watch, he picks up another piece of wood, and begins his work. Whittling, carving, sanding...shaping a piece of wood into the work of art he already sees in his mind.
A masterpiece of his design.
Lord, you are the one who works in us, refining us and shaping us. We are each a work of art in the making. Thank you for taking your time, for seeing the details of our lives and working on them with great care and gentleness. You do your work, and we come away a beautifully designed masterpiece.