One word (ponder). Five minutes (Write):
The Sycamore grows tall, strong. So with the Cypress and Cedar. The mighty Oak. Their branches stretch high to the sun, leaves and needles fill the branches, a shaded canopy. Roots run deep to anchor the soul and drink of the living water.
Then the ax comes, the sharp-tooth saw. Rings marking years are sliced apart at the seams, separated one from the other. Dense wood turns to jagged chips, fine dust gathers around the dying trunk, no more than mounds of memories of a life once lived.
Jesus is the carpenter.
I am fresh timber laid out before him. He leans out with comfortable intention, knowing just where to draw his blade. Stroke after stroke he pulls the dead bark from me, stripping me bare. His heart sees what his eyes do not: a form he already knows buried beneath the bark. I am not hidden, merely encased in this dense flesh. He lays down his blade and takes up the hammer and chisel, places the tip down and strikes. And again here, and again over there. It is painful and I cry out, beg for mercy. He tells me he is merciful. He tells me he loves me and strikes again. I am being pulled apart, layer by layer, barren and raw before him. A newly born scent rises up to greet him and he smiles, rubs his palm along the length of me, nods. With a stone gathered in the foothills, he scrubs my bare skin and an ache sets in, an ache that runs to my core. I long to resist, but there is a knowing in his eyes that I fall into. My every fiber eases, lays open at his hand, in silence watching, waiting…
What is he making of me?
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25 NIV)