Hammer Time

Here’s a tuneful thought.

However, I know you were thinking this.  Nuh uh.

Or perhaps this…

My job, for all intents and purposes, involves enforcing federal regulations and calling people on it when they don’t follow the rules.

I’m not keen on this.  I don’t like being the bad guy. But there it is. I’m making friends all over the place.  My fellow project workers love me.  Not!

But this is the crux, the meat if you will, of my job.  We gotta follow the CDBG guidelines.  We gotta post wage rates in the job trailer.  We gotta make sure each worker gets paid the highest wage possible.  We can’t release the final 5% of federal funding until the job is totally, completely, every-i-dotted, every-t-crossed completed.  Them’s the breaks.

Hammers have a negative reputation.  They’ve become a euphemism for force and destruction.  The appearance of a hammer usually means something is about to break. I’ve used hammers to break up ceramic and glass tile for mosaic projects.  Nothing works better.  We used hammers to break up old roofing. Yet hammers also foster creative things.  Hammers help build houses.  Hammers jam nails into wood, helping two pieces to join together to create something new.  Hammers enhance building.  That’s a good thing.

At times I’ve come up against God’s word and it’s broken me into pieces, much like a hammer does to brittle things.  It’s designed that way, a “double-edged sword”, cutting as close as marrow and bone.  Transformation happens under the hammer.  Old mindsets and expectations bite the dust, sometimes painfully. But the Lord in His infinite goodness puts me back together with the nails of His lovingkindness. He doesn’t leave me in pieces but fashions something new for His glory.

I strive to be a “velvet hammer” of sorts at this job.  I need to uphold the regulations entrusted to me but in a kind way.  I’ve already made some mistakes myself on this project.  I want to give others grace for theirs, even as we clear up the debris together.

The LORD will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
 – Isaiah 2:4







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