March 4, 2013

God Will Remove Our Disgrace

By Luke Gascho, executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College
THIS WEEK’S THEME: God Will Remove Our Disgrace

Today I turned a bowl from two pieces of discarded wood. While I was doing this project on the turning lathe, I thought about this Lenten theme and realized what I was doing paralleled messages found in the Scriptures for this week!

I started with two chunks of wood that had been deemed “worthless.” The piece of black walnut was considered too small to be of any use in a large shop. The cherry was from a log that loggers had left behind since it didn’t have any value to be sawn into boards. One could say that the wood had been “disgraced” – or kept from a grace-filled purpose. But I could see great value in both pieces. I smoothed the two chunks, glued them together and was ready to start a new creation.

As I began to turn the wood, I imagined the bowl that would emerge. With sharp tools, I shaped what had once been undervalued into a pleasing design. I appreciated how the two different kinds of wood had been “reconciled with each other,” as their colors complemented each other. The bond between them had become strong physically and visually. The newly created bowl reclaimed and preserved beauty in wood that been discarded.

Consider these questions as you reflect on my woodturning story and read the passages for this fourth week of Lent:

  • What experiences in our lives are like the “before and after” aspects of the two pieces of wood?
  • How do the actions of the wood turner represent the ways we can be reconcilers in our daily encounters?
  • What are the renewing and recreating events that you can celebrate in your life?
  • What are ways you can turn “disgraced” relationships into “grace-filled” new creations?



Comments (4)

  1. Nicely stated. I appreciated the wood metaphor. However, even in the creative process, some wood in all its beauty, still cracks. We are all flawed, but we are beloved children of God.

    Jep Hostetler March 4, 2013 |
  2. This is thought provoking. I am searching in my own life for the place where “disgraced” events can be honed into something useful and worthy.

    Mary Hughes March 4, 2013 |
  3. This makes me think of the wood in the rocky mts that has turned blueish from insects. Many trees have died there but these blue hardwood floors are commanding high prices in wealthy homes.

    Karen deaver March 4, 2013 |
  4. Great message, Luke

    Marian March 6, 2013 |