Comment from Ken:
Thank you for your comments on our walks; I love hearing from you. You are in my prayers, and I hope you will join me for our walks each week.
1He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. 2And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands! 3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”
How are you today? Hope you are ready to take a walk with me in the rain. And it certainly rained hard last Tuesday. It was the first time Dale and I had returned to Candleberry Chapel since November. This pastor must admit it is a rather difficult thing to do for it brings back a flood of happy memories. But when I travel that distance, I have cause to remember that my health and age have changed and that my retirement was something that had to be.
We returned to Attleboro so that I could clean out what was left of my lumber under the Chapel. Much to my surprise, there was a wonderful supply of wide pine boards, some of which we had used as wainscoting in the Chapel itself. Dale has suggested that I make a table out of the wide boards that are left, but I am not so sure that is what I wish to do. However, she has a large influence on what I do in my woodworking shop. That hobby of mine has been an anchor in my life just as my faith has been. Now I know I should not really compare the two anchors, yet carpentry has been an outlet for stress and problems all of my life.
Years ago when I wished to build a home on top of Greenhill, I knew I could not afford to do so on my ministry income. How could I possibly have that dream come true without any funds? Now my mother and father deeded the land for my home to me, but I needed lumber and supplies to build my dream home.
Fred Mudgett had a sawmill that he had used to build his barn at Tamarak Farm. He had left it outside unprotected, and by the time I spoke to him about repairing it, other than the iron much of it had rotted away. It took me a couple of years to rebuild the frame and the carriage that carried the logs forward to the saw blade, but eventually, I was able to cut the lumber for my home. Perhaps it was then that I grew so fond of pine trees and what it was like to work with pinewood.
The other day when it was warm, I was able to sit on my front lawn and smell the pine trees on the hill across the street. It brought back memories of pine logs being cut into boards when I was a young man so long ago; when I would feed the log into the cutting blade, how the fresh smell of pine would float into my nostrils. The sawdust that flew toward my face was like a fine perfume. All this came back to me as I retrieved those pine boards I had stored under the chapel.
Down in my shop, I have a small memorial to my sawmill. Does that sound ridiculous? I hope not. The small space over my desk (a treasure from my mother and father) has a picture of my sawmill. Now to make that picture even more special, it was taken by my sister Loretta who was so close to me when I was a child. She brought the photograph all framed for me when I was at the farm, and my mother said I could not have it for she wanted it herself. Well, guess what? My mother got the picture, but Loretta immediately gave me a copy. My mother had a lot of power, you had better believe.
Over the picture of the mill in the barn is the wrench that fit the nut that tightened the saw blade to the arbor. Under the picture is the gauge that told you how wide a board you were cutting. Under that gauge is the tool that you use to remove the replaceable saw tooth inserts that could be wedged into the saw blade itself. When I am sitting at my desk thinking of the next project, I look up and happy memories of the past float into my mind, and once more I can smell the sweet fragrance of pine.
There are so many projects in front of me. I want to build a small table and inset into it an old fashioned Ice skate. Perhaps I will build a table for Dale; perhaps, I will panel one of our rooms with some of that old wide pine. Oh, I will work for a while and then I must sit for a while; then I work for a while, and then I must again sit for a while. This is my new life.
In my shop, there are at least two pictures of Jesus and my small statue of St. Joseph. This pastor has always been thankful for being a pastor and that Jesus called me to ministry; but I am also humble and thankful that my dad led me to carpentry in his woodworking shop as I am sure Jesus learned carpentry from his father, Joseph.
Do you have a hobby? Do you have a skill that brings you peace and comfort? Do you think Jesus our Savior ever forgot that he was a humble carpenter? Don’t you think people loved Him because He knew what it was like to labor for a living? Don’t you think He saw God’s children and their needs as they walked by His shop window? We must not be like some of those in His hometown who, instead of seeing the wonder of a humble carpenter being God’s Son, turned against Him and did not believe He was sent by God. They saw Him rather as making Himself more special than them.
Oh and by the way, when you are involved with a hobby that brings you peace and happiness, it is a wonderful time to talk with Jesus. So often we call upon Him when we are miserable or facing a difficult test in life. Should we not talk with Him when we are happy and fulfilled and appreciative of life?
Thanks for walking with me today. Yep, I’m heading down into my shop to work. As I work, I’ll look up and see the picture of my old sawmill, and then I’ll turn and see my pictures of Jesus and my small statue of Saint Joseph. I’ll probably talk a while with our Savior, and I’ll think of you, and there will be a huge smile on my face.
Dear God help us to have busy hands, open hearts and to hold a frequent conversation with You our Father. May we speak to you of our happy spirits because You are so kind and loving to us, Your children. Thank you for life, for friends, for daily labor and for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Until our next walk, “May the Lord watch between me and thee while we are absent one from the other.”