Wednesday, April 14, 2010

watch what you pray for

there is a prayer I learned from the Iona Community (I mean while I was living there many years ago):

O Christ the Master Carpenter,
who at the last through wood and nails
accomplished our whole salvation,
wield well your tools in the workshop of your world
that we who come rough hewn to your bench
may here be fashioned to a truer beauty of your hand.
We ask it for your own name's sake. Amen.

Now, setting aside the business where I'm not convinced that it was in fact through wood and nails that our salvation was accomplished (I'm more the empty tomb, less the on-the-cross, salvation kind of girl)...I love this prayer. and it comes to mind often...maybe more than once a day.

But here's the thing: who actually wants to be worked over like a piece of wood in the hands of a carpenter? Cuz while the end result may be a "truer beauty" or more usefulness, the process is, umm, hurty. there's cutting and pounding and lathing (is that even a word?).

So, I'm just saying--be careful what you pray for, cuz you might get it.


  1. I don't think I want my clay squished on a pottery wheel, either, though it does sound less "hurty" - I like that new grammatical form, by the way.

  2. B.A.--I know, right? The whole squishy clay metaphor is equally ick sounding. How come the metaphor is never something warm and fuzzy, like "wrapped in polartec" or even just pretty sounding like painting? stupid transformation requiring actual, well, change. LOL.

    For the record--this is equally hurty when it's a whole community being fashioned to a truer beauty of God's hand. Maybe more, actually.