C62    THE DIVINE CRAFTSMAN    [Jan 2001]

The good thing about manual work is that it gives the brain a chance to work on other things while the hands are busy with whatever. This poem came to me while doing the usual Christmas holiday home maintenance, sanding down barge-boards, gutters and the like before painting them, fixing the woodwork of carport, and so on.

What about God? If our body is the “temple of the Lord”, what about maintenance? I had already wondered why coming to God was rather agonising and painful. As I cut, planed and sanded, the answer became apparent: God is the supreme craftsman and I was the metal and the wood being worked on. In a sense I was being sanded, ground, and restored to a presentable condition. No wonder it was painful! Hence this series of haikus.

The Divine Welder
With the arc of the Spirit
Makes us one with Him.

With finely judged strokes
The Carpenter planes our souls
Square with His own line.

He sands down: hurt bared:
I’m tempted to depression  —
But three coats high gloss!

Abrasion: sparks fly;
Screeching pain: God grinds the rust
Out of our haloes.