Watching Dad at Work
By Kay W. Camenisch
When I was a child, I loved to go with Dad while he worked in his shop. I sometimes held the end of a board while he sawed the other end, or picked up the trash wood that was littering the floor, but mostly, I just watched.
That was fine with me. I just wanted to be with Dad. I enjoyed hanging with him on his turf—even when I couldn't talk because he was thinking or measuring. Receiving a toy box that he made in his shop increased my sense of admiration and awe.
Recently, I was reminded of those days when talking with Craig, a volunteer at a maximum security prison in Florida. He shared with me about a class he was leading in a study of Uprooting Anger. After the second class, one of the men shared with him that he wasn't sure he believed there's a God.
Craig assured him that it was fine for him to attend the class, even if he didn't believe. He encouraged him, "Just keep your mind open." The inmate assured him he would and Craig was grateful for the interchange.
The next week, the same man shared that he'd gotten in a fight, and said he was ready to kill a man, but "I think God stopped me."
He went on to describe that he had his hand around a man's throat and was ready to squeeze, to choke him to death. But, just at that moment somebody from his anger management class appeared and broke up the fight.
Craig then learned that the clash had just happened. The inmate was still shaking from it.
He rejoiced at the work of God to prevent a murder and at the evidence of the Lord at work in the life of the young man before him.
I told him that I appreciated his faithfulness to go into prisons, representing the Lord and carrying hope and life to the men there.
Craig said, "I feel like a little boy going to work with his dad. He tells me that He'll do the work, and I just need to be still and watch."
Oh, my! The work in my dad's shop doesn't compare to the work done by my heavenly Father. A child's toy box is nothing when you consider building the kingdom of God or transforming people's hearts and lives. There is no comparison in relation to importance, complexity, value—or vulnerability to damage. Furthermore, I don't understand any more about building kingdoms or doing spiritual heart surgery than I understood about power tools as a six-year-old.
In my eagerness to help out, how many times have I interfered and messed up projects the Lord was working on? I want to help, not harm.
I want to learn to "be still and know that [He is] God" (Psalms 46:10).
Meanwhile, if I go to work with heavenly Dad and keep my hands to myself, I can spend time with Him, watch Him work, and get to know Him better. He might even let me join in occasionally.
As I learn to "Stand still," maybe I will more often "see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish…today" (Ex. 14:13).
I'd like that. Help me, Lord.
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Kay W. Camenisch has written a Bible study, Uprooting Anger: Destroying the Monster Within, to help believers overcome the bondage of anger (www.uprootinganger.com). She has been published in The Upper Room and The Lookout. Contemporary Drama has published one of her plays, and she is a regular contributor to a newspaper column.
Kay is also a pastor’s wife, mother, and grandmother. She has worked closely in ministry with her husband, including in local churches, as missionaries in Brazil, working with a church school, training young adults to mentor troubled youth, and establishing and directing a ranch for troubled young men. Send Kay your comments. Visit Kay's website
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