I've wanted a farmhouse table for some time now, and when we moved it became necessary for our smaller space to have a different type of table and it would need to be modified. I asked (begged and offered lots of coffee) him to build it, and I asked if I could help.
He's really good at this stuff, but he usually likes to do it alone, so I knew asking him to allow me to help was a give on his part, but I'm grateful he allowed me to be a part of the process. It is pretty incredible to watch a few pieces of wood bought at a local hardware store slowly turn into a beautiful piece of furniture. It's clear to me that it was not a coincidence that Jesus was a carpenter. The metaphors drawn from building and carving plain and often imperfect pieces of wood into stunning art that represents the carpenter who made it are endless. He took something that already existed and gave it new purpose. What was finished was a reflection of him as a carpenter, an artist and the pieces he built would carry His name. Like we label art a "Van Gogh" or music a "Tchaikovsky" a carpenter's work carries his name.
I enjoyed cutting the wood, drilling holes, learning to use equipment I had never heard of before, burning my finger on the end of the drill and getting covered in sawdust while sanding out the imperfections. I also really liked the smell of it. I could have easily let him do this whole thing, and without me there I'm sure it would have gone faster but I love that I had a small part in building something that sits in my home.
My friend is a bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to what he's created and while I was drooling over the table in all it's finished glory he was sizing up the areas he saw weren't quite up to snuff for him. It wasn't made in a factory, it was made in a garage. It's not the finest wood you can buy, it's simple, and I'm a rookie. There is something to be said though, for imperfections.
I want imperfect people to gather around my imperfect table, I want broken and misfit people to sit around it and feel safe.
I pray it would be a place where bellies are filled, people are encouraged, dreams are spoken, where restoration begins and memories are made. I pray it lasts forever so that my boys can point out where they sat when they realized what God had called them to, or where we could point out tear stains from a season of hard battles in prayer, and great season of joy.
So, I will sit here in the mornings and pray, and ask Him to continue to sand away my rough edges, not to be perfect, because that is never the goal, but to become the best representation of His work, that people might see me and say,
"Yes, I know this...this could only be the work of Jesus"
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10