My grandfather on my dad’s side of the family passed away several years ago. He was an amazing carpenter, who could turn wood into works of art the way other artists work with clay, paint, or any other medium.
I love to work with wood myself, but I have only a small fraction of his knowledge, skill, and craftsmanship ability. I also have several of his tools in my basement, including the bandsaw pictured here.
This year, as in years past, I invited Cub Scouts to bring their blocks of pine wood over, draw an image on the top and side, and I would cut it out for them, then leave the finish sanding, additional carving, and painting up to them. After an afternoon of helping out these boys, and receiving many warm thank-yous from them and their parents, I took another look at the bandsaw, and for a split second felt a little bad about it. It is an amazing machine, hand built by my great-uncle especially for my grandfather, his big brother. I felt a little bit small in the shadows of these two great craftsmen: one who could make anything out of metal, and the other who could make anything out of wood … and here I am making a block of wood to roughly approximate the appearance of various kinds of race cars.
The sensation didn’t last long, because I realized that I was creating something using this tool, after all. It wasn’t a wooden masterpiece, it was smiles on all those little boys’ faces. The two things I remember most about my grandfather are his smile and his laugh. … and knowing his generous heart, I can see him smiling ear-to-ear because of several happy cub scouts benefitting from one of his tools, and a small fraction of skill that got passed down to me.
Sometimes it’s not the things that we do or make that are significant; instead, it is the love that we pass on through what we do. That is the legacy that my grandfather, among others, have left for me to pass on to others. It is a legacy with a deep faith tradition from our Creator who taught us to share love with everyone we meet.
Welcome to a new year. Share your inheritance of Christ’s love with everyone you meet.