Tool Talk

            Hi and welcome to the blog! I’ll spare you any grand introductions. I suppose you know why you’re here:  to see if this guy has the wit to write anything worth reading. And maybe to get some news about his forthcoming book The Bequest.

            Of course your interest in the latter item may well be determined by the former, so I better get to work here.

            Writing is, after all, a difficult job and for me, can be a slow and time-consuming process. The fact that I’ve been in the drywall hanging/finishing business off and on since 1984 probably contributes to that, since I’ve likely breathed enough gypsum dust over the years to prevent significant amounts of oxygen from reaching my brain.

            In the drywall trade, as in any other, you get customers who really like your work, and others who think you have the finishing skills of a dung beetle. I’m glad to say that most of my customers have fallen into the former category. Which never ceases to amaze me considering the tools I have to work with.

            Since I’m too cheap to buy a zip router, I have a rusty drywall saw, the blade of which is held to the handle by two bolts. There’s a hole in the handle for a third bolt, but after dropping the saw one too many times, that bolt has fled for regions unknown. My drywall foot lift had a loop that I could run my foot through.  That was nice because I don’t like to bend over and pick stuff up. But that loop has long since broken off, so now I just kick the lift where I want it to go.

            My tool pouch looks like it was run over by a lawn mower. My cutting edge (c. 1995) glue gun’s only virtue now is that it gives me a firm handshake.  The legs don’t extend out easily from my drywall bench anymore, which I guess is not a huge problem since enough joint compound has dropped on it over the years that I get a little closer to the ceiling with every job I do. My slop box is pretty beat up, too.  I guess you’d say that a slop box is a poor man’s banjo. A banjo is a . . . well hey, I guess that’s why they invented Google.  I have to move on.

            After finishing my most recent job last week, the homeowners kindly complimented my work and cut me a nice check. I loaded my aging tools and body into my battered ’89 Chevy S10 and drove away feeling pretty good about a job well done. Even with bad tools.

            When you think about it, though, God has been working with some pretty bad tools for thousands of years. Them tools is us. Ever since the fall, bad tools are all God has had to work with.  Deceiver Jacob. Impatient Moses. Sign-seeking Gideon. Adulterer/murderer David. Impetuous Peter. Just to name a few. But even the cheapest articles in the house can be used for noble purposes in God’s hands (2 Tim. 2:20-21).

            Why does God do his work like that? Couldn’t he get a lot more efficient production using perfect, spotless tools? No doubt, but he gets a lot more glory from his people when he does the same work using the worst tools. Paul said that God puts his best gift, the knowledge of himself in Christ, into simple clay pots (us) “to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Cor. 4:6-7)

            That’s a good thing for the tools to know.  No matter how beaten up, battered, and dilapidated life has left us, we can still be used by God for noble purposes. I think one of the chief ways we will be struck with awe in eternity future is to see how God has done that very thing time and again through his people in ages past. And we will glorify him for it.

            Now for a new glue gun . . . nahh!


7 thoughts on “Tool Talk

  1. Rpn Schemenauer says:

    Bookmarking your blog. Will check back for future installments.

  2. Chris says:

    I love your thoughts on paper, er I mean, screen. Will check back for more.

  3. Bev Wesner says:

    Very humbling thoughts and reminders. May God be glorified. Looking forward to more!

  4. Charlene Beery says:

    I will look for more words of wisdom. You are a good writer. I think you are a very good speaker also. I am happy you are getting into your talent. Charlene

  5. Len Armstrong says:

    Dennis, thank you. I laughed and was humbled. Keep writing.

  6. twolumpsofclay says:

    Loved it Dennis! Excellent thoughts on our humble lives.

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