Thanks to my son, Zachary, who (as I watched him repair a couple of torch lighters without suitable tools, parts or instructions) reminded me so very much of his grandfather, Deland. Through his infinite creativity and wisdom he so often shows me that everything and every situation, works for good…I wrote this post four years ago and needed this reminder:

My father-in-law was a remarkable man. Brilliant, as most self-made men are. Strong and upright, no shady deals or skeletons in his closet. Faithful to his wife and a loving father to his children.

And practical.

He grew up during the Great Depression, and the lessons learned during those lean times, permeated his daily life until the very end. He saved everything. Seemingly broken tools, toys, appliances, etc. were always salvaged, never discarded. He would either repair whatever needed fixing, or he would construct something altogether new and most certainly, useful. He wasn’t the kind of guy who was looking for the latest gadget, the shortcut or the easy way out of honest work. He was smart, and having learned the value of a dollar the hard way, he made sure that nothing was ever wasted.

We own a few of his “inventions.” Tools, mostly. To the untrained eye, most of these tools would seem to be junk. But a closer look past the scars of previous neglect, would reveal a tool that had once been one thing, and had now become something else, entirely. A useful something. No slick packaging, or catchy name brand emblazoned on the side…just a homemade tool, crafted for a specific job known only to my father-in-law. Many times my husband would have to ask “hey Dad…what’s this?” The explanation would be offered quickly and matter of factly, the usefulness of this new tool was never in dispute…it had a place, a purpose and a use all its own; and there were never any duplicates.

It was the perfect tool, crafted to suit the needs of the master and fit perfectly to the task at hand.

And so are we, being fashioned into perfect tools, by the hands of our Maker…useful tools; each of us fitted for a specific job, with a purpose defined by the One who created us in His image and likeness. Unique, sometimes work-worn and scarred, but sought eagerly by He who would use us for His greater glory and our sanctification.

Our throw-away society sees no beauty or usefulness, in that which is “imperfect.” We live in a disposable world, one which discards imperfect people and imperfect things with such ease and very little conscience. We’re far more likely to replace a broken item, than we are to fix it. A young woman once shared her repugnance for belongings that had been damaged. She said that when a cherished item had been broken and repaired, she still knew it was no longer perfect, sadly relating, that she no longer placed the same value upon that item as before. The gift of vision can, at times, be a handicap. The eyes see what they want, limiting our perception and obscuring the truth that can often only be read by the heart…

Reality: We are a marred, scarred, damaged and inconvenient people. There are many who are seemingly broken beyond repair. God sees our imperfections, our brokeness through the eyes of Love. The more damaged we are, the more He reaches out to us, seeking to “fix” us, to make perfect that which is not. He discards no one, He sees infinite value in all of His creation…He has looked upon what He has made and finds it GOOD.

He is a Master Craftsman, with a toolbox full of misfit “tools”, whose purpose are known only to Him, and who are just perfect for the job He has in mind…