So after all the scavenging, bolting, hammering, sawing (and bodging!!!) the first stage of the summerhouse is complete. Of course the moment i finish the heavens open and we have more rain in one day than the last six weeks. But it’s there and done and waiting for painting and Mrs H’s creative touch when we return in September (I think it will be ‘Coast magazine meets shabby-chic with tea cups’).
Spending time building one gets round to wondering what God thinks about builders and just why construction is so satisfying, almost spiritual. Creating anything seems in some small way to reflect the image of a creaor God in us. I wonder if our culture has missed a trick in prioritising the creativity of ephemeal things in print, art, and entertainment (all of which are important). How many builders or plumbers or electricians get a mention in our God talk? We often quote philosophers, leaders in politics or culture, or the well known. We discuss ‘God at Work’ often meaning office based, school or caring professions. But where is the spirituality of the handyman, the tradesperson?. Perhaps Christians are just as celebrity obssed as everyone else just with more obscure people (ever thought how small the Christian world is?)
So I’ve loved building. Not in a romantic escapist sense. But because it sems to me a small reflection of God’s creative character, it offers a satisfying sense of compleion and product, it seems an honest ‘incarnational’ activity which offers a real way to steward the rsources given to us. For me it has been so good to be working with my hands bringing wood to life. And without the community of ‘givers’ the project would be nothing. The sheds and skips, gardens and greenhouses have all been broken down and reworked to make someing new. Not quite from nothing, but certainly with something.
God, of course, knows a thing or two about carpentry.
The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays – not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors. The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.
No work is too menial to be rendered as worship