Monday, June 18, 2012


I enjoy building things.  Creating them in my head, working out the kinks, putting my hands to it, and bringing something to life.  It is one facet of my love, to be able to build something beautiful.  Especially when I'm blessed to be able to give it away.

There's not really one medium over another that I prefer; it depends on my mood, but I do seem to do a great deal of things with wood.  And when I'm working these things out in my head, then standing in the hardware aisle looking for just the right bit of metal, I'm the kind of craftsman whose first instinct is for nails.  

Nails are great.  They aren't right for every project, and it's important to know the difference, but when it doesn't much matter, I will choose a nail over a screw.

Inevitably, then, as I'm working through a project or once I've completed something and start bringing it into more public air, there's always someone (and usually a certain someone) who kind of condescendingly questions - "I don't know why you didn't use screws."

Screws are new-fangled.  They are the updated nail technology.  Today, we use a lot of screws where we might have once used nails, and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that.  But this adherence people have to the superiority of screws...I just don't get it.  Maybe a screw is a little tighter bond, but it's the craftsmanship of the thing.  You put in a few screws, and any old fool can take it apart at his whim.  But you put in some nails...and it's not so easy to pull into pieces.

Then my mind went here, because in this case, this particular screw enthusiast also happened to be someone not "in the faith," as we might call it.  She may be one who is exploring and questioning and sort-of seeking Jesus, but not yet living as one who truly knows Him.

So my mind went here:

Maybe there's so much gusto for screws these days because that's our universal experience.  As people living in this world, we understand "screwed."  

We understand how the world can sometimes stick it to us, how it drives something into us and wraps our hearts all around it in grooves, and we're not free to just back out and go another way.  We're tied somehow to this circumstance because of the way it's drilled itself into us.  Oh yeah, we know screwed.

We know fighting a battle you can't win.  Being in a place you can't just pull out of.  We know the work it takes to unwrap a painful circumstance from your heart.  To go through the slow steps of having to take it all apart one small step at a time.  Once this life gets you, it's hard to unwind yourself. We're all screwed, which may be why we're all a little screwy and so tightly wound.

Two thousand years ago, there was another Man who knew screwed.  The King of the Jews, He knew "royally screwed."  Life, and Romans, cornered Him in a garden He couldn't back out of.  They whipped grooves into His back.  He was tightly pinned here, bonded to this circumstance, by both law and love.  He walked a sinless, undeserved road to Calvary.

Then He chose the nails.

Because it's the craftsmanship of the thing.

So to all of you screw enthusiasts out there, I get it.  We know the power of screwed, and why wouldn't we want that for our creations?  But there is greater power in the nails.  There is love.

What would life look like if the next time you felt screwed, you, too, chose the nails?  What if in the face of affliction, you choose to choose love?

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