Marshall and I met for lunch last Thursday. It was the normal meeting, at the same place, at the usual time. But as I stepped up to the counter to order my food, I noticed something a little unusual. The guy next to me was evidently ordering for several of his coworkers. He had a list of items to order. A number 1, a number 4 with extra pickles, two number 3s . . . it was all written down . . . on a 1″ X 4″ section of wood. I smiled.
As I watched this guy read his order off a section of lumber, I thought about the times I had used a piece of wood like a piece of paper, then I began to think about this guy. One can learn a lot about a person just by the tools they use. Judging by the material this guy used for a notepad, I could make some pretty good assumptions about what he has been up to. He is probably a carpenter, working on some project with others. Lunch time came along, so he grabbed the material he was so intimately used to using, and scribbled the needed information on it. It was a short piece of wood, so that means there was probably a saw nearby. The crew had been measuring and cutting. There’s a good chance he even used a carpenter’s pencil to write down the order.
The incident struck a chord with me because I can relate. I’ve been there. Done that. I’ve just never brought my wooden “notepad” into Chick-fil-A and laid it so carefully on the counter like this guy did. The way this guy handled the wood, placed it neatly on the counter, straightened it, touched it gently as he read from it, I could tell he loved his craft, and cherished the rough, natural, unfinished material he worked with. He would not have used a piece of paper to take the order even if he had it handy. The wood was a part of him. It was the stuff he used to build his dreams.
This morning, as I write about the carpenter, I can’t help but think about my Heavenly Father, and the rough, natural, unfinished material He uses to build His Kingdom. How 2,000 years ago, He wrote a Message using that material. Flesh and blood. The message of Christmas. A God who loves us so much that we are a part of Him, and the stuff He uses to build His dreams.