A Pepper Grinder Post


Remember how I was building a piece of furniture last time?  Now I am finishing it.  Even though the wood came quite smooth from the store, there was still plenty of work to be done after I had screwed in the last screw.

sandpaperI started out with coarse sandpaper.  This is the really nasty stuff that looks like paper with small, sharp rocks glued to it.  With this paper, I could quickly round off edges and sharp corners.  Then I moved to medium-grit sandpaper.  It was still rough, but it didn’t leave such big scratch marks as the coarse paper.  Finally, I finished with extra-fine.  This has such a small grit that it leaves the wood quite smooth.  After I finished sanding with the fine paper, I cleaned the sawdust off carefully, and then put on the first coat of polyurethane.  The polyurethane gave the shelf a beautiful shiny look, but when I touched it, the experience was disappointing.  The first coat of polyurethane on unfinished wood dries to a rough finish.  So, once the first coat was dry, I got out the extra-fine grit sandpaper again and sanded all the surfaces smooth before applying the second coat.  The second coat was much smoother after it dried than the first, but was still not perfect.  I lightly sanded the surfaces I cared about most and put on the third and final coat.  After this, it still wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough for me.

finishedNow you have gotten my perspective as the furniture creator.  I would like to try to think about it from the point of view of the wood.

After many frightening and painful experiences, an amazing thing has happened!  I have been joined together with other pieces of wood to form a beautiful piece of furniture.  I didn’t understand what was happening as I was sawed and had holes drilled in me, but now I am so happy and so proud.  My creator has done an amazing thing, and I am part of it.

I feel good when I see my creator come out to the garage, even though I used to fear him when he came at me with that deafening electric saw that tore through my flesh.  Now, as he walks toward me, all he holds is a piece of some kind of paper.  He looks at me fondly and appraisingly, taking in my beautiful lines and corners.  He lays the paper on me and suddenly starts to rub it energetically, back and forth across me.

The pain is excruciating.  The paper is covered with something like little knives that tear into my flesh.  Why is the creator doing such a thing?  While I was a beautiful piece of furniture before he started, now I am covered with gouges.  My sharp, clean corners are being torn away.  I sob, I scream in rage, but my creator doesn’t stop.

Can you relate to the wood?  I certainly can.  Many times God does things to me that I don’t understand but that are intensely painful.  I can tell myself that he is doing it for a good reason and is making me into something more beautiful than I can imagine, but it isn’t much comfort.  I want to yell at God, I want to hurt him, I want to tell him that I want no more part of his torture schemes.

Instead, I find myself saying, “To whom shall I go?  You have the words of eternal life.”