The Hand Saw

A parable on the cutting edge

    There once was a saw, a good saw that worked hard at what he did. He could cut wood like it was butter (make sawing sound and drop sawed wood onto floor). He thought pretty highly of himself saying, "Look at me, I am brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous. What ever needs to be done when it comes to wood, I am the little engine that could!" The saw was happy to live this way for a while but something began to change inside of him. Life just didn't seem to cut it anymore.

He began to feel that something was missing and asked, "Is this all there is to life just ashes to ashes and saw dust to saw dust.?" So he set off on a journey to find himself.

    He began by trying out some new shinny hardware (ca-ching) and went in to the shop for a well needed sharpening. He took yoga lessons to increase his flexibility. He even thought about becoming a power saw but decided that just wasn't him. These things kept him happy for a while but did not seem to last very long. 

    The saw then decided to join some organizations that work for good causes and learn more about what he could do to improve the world. He joined Hand Saws International to help the environment. Their slogan is "save our planet, use hand tools." 

He started reading, "The Progressive Saw"  a magazine that prides itself on "staying sharp on what's happening in Washington."  He even ordered a one year subscription to "Diston Digest," a lifestyle magazine that helps you to "dig your teeth into healthy living" These activities kept him busy for a while but there was still this deep sense of something missing. He began to wonder if he would ever find what he was looking for.  

    One day, while waiting at the Dentist office to get a tooth repaired,  he picked up a copy of  Historic Houses Magazine and opened to the feature article on the old Sawville Quaker Meetinghouse, in Sawville NJ. He was so dazzled by the glossy photographs of hand sawn beams, hand hewn wall panels and benches that he decided to go and see it for himself.

    A few days later he arrived at the Meetinghouse on Sunday morning, entered in and joined the small group of worshippers there. As he was waiting in the silence, taking in all the remarkable sights around him, a guitar stood up to speak. His words were something like this I cannot remember for sure. "You may not know what to do with your life but God does. It is never too late to begin again. Jesus said, "Behold, I make all things new."  (Rich then plays one chord and sits down).

The saw was not sure what to make of this message. Of course he had heard of Jesus before, after all, he was a carpenter of some distinction. The message struck a chord within him and  he decided to come back again.

    The saw's next visit was a similar experience. This time the guitar stood up and said something like, " We do not have to be strong, brilliant, or beautiful, God can use us, just as we are  when we open our hearts to him. " He then quoted from the time God spoke to the apostle Paul (another craftsman of note) saying, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." (play chord and sit down) The saw really tuned in to this message. He began to see that it was not what was outside that was most important but what is inside. (take off the aluminum foil).

    The third visit the saw waited in anxious anticipation for more great wisdom from the guitar. This time however the message seemed to rise from the whole meeting as a group. It was more like a prayer and sounded to him like a music. (Rich and  ? sing the first verse of amazing grace by themselves). The saw could not help himself, he felt the power of this music resonating deep within him. He felt like he was experiencing the transformation that he had been searching for all this time. He could not help but sing himself.   (saw joins in for second verse without words). Everyone sings last verse. 

Chris Stern - 2013