Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Mortar

Otherwise entitled: What I learned in church today.

Today in church the lesson was talking about all of our roles in God's kingdom. The book mentioned hod carriers, which... I know a hod tender, so I kind of laughed when it was said. I was disabused a long time ago about the seeming unimportance of a hod man. I am no longer among those who are unfamiliar with the crucial importance of the right timing of deliveries to the masons, the proper preparation of the mortar, and the importance of preparing the work site.
The teacher went on with her lesson, but my mind stayed on construction (yes, I only half listen to the teachers in church, I try to listen to the dialogue of The Spirit with my spirit instead). I have a lot of respect for construction work. It is a beautiful, noble thing to build something. It is even more beautiful and more noble to build it well. My mind was full of images of hard working men, dirty, sweaty, skilled, swift, reliable. They worked with real things, tangible things, they created. Construction, in my mind, is a great art.
Of course the Mater Builder agrees with me on that. How many construction related passages are there in scripture? Well I don't know either, but it's a lot.
My mind then circled, not on the workers, but on the materials. What if the bricks weren't there?
About that time the teacher said something about people who think their job in the church is so unimportant that they don't bother to do it at all.
Not doing their job at all, yes... what IF the bricks weren't there? What if, as God, The Master Builder, was building heaven and ran out on bricks? Or what if, horror of horrors the bricks that he had put in place ran out on him? What would the structure of heaven be then? Surely not sound, if it was missing bricks here and there, everywhere, punching holes in God's work so it looks like Swiss cheese.
I wondered if any of those missing bricks knew how they had weakened the wall. Obviously they hadn't felt that being where God had placed them was very important, but what did it do to the bricks around them?
In my minds eye I could see the cracks forming, the wall bowing, the chasm opening as the wall crumbled.
All from a missing brick.
Was I that missing brick? Sometimes, perhaps I am. Sometimes I don't even feel like a brick, I feel like half baked mud, no... sometimes I feel like sloppy, messy, formless, ugly, mortar.
I wondered how many others felt like mortar. I looked around. I could see a few. I knew they felt unimportant. We all focus so much on the pillars, the foundation stones, the big big blocks of so much weight and importance.
Yet, were would it all be without the mortar?

I think all of us feel like mortar sometimes, like we haven't become anything yet that could be of real use in the Kingdom of Heaven. How very wrong we are.

You! You with all your pliability, you without the rigid structure, you who go un-noticed, seeping into seems, smashed between the big beautiful blocks, mixed up, scraped, slopped, oozing, you are the thing that holds it all together. Without you, the wall is nothing but a teetering pile. Without you it will never be strong. Without you all the bricks in the world could not build heaven right.

Brothers and sisters, God needs you. You may not understand  how you are making a difference, but being present IS making a difference. Being willing is making a difference. Being YOU is making a difference.

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