of nailguns, saints, and exiles


I’m your child, and somehow what I do with my hands is part of Your praise. So I’m here. And my chorus today is made by a nail gun, a tool belt too big, sore knees, and a seemingly endless choir of drywall dust particles.

Not sure what type of worship this is, exactly.

You’re God of the children and the saints, the shining ones and the martyrs. What about the carpenters, the drywallers, the finishers?

I’m alone in a dark closet, can’t turn without bumping some tool into one of the walls – there are too many walls in these closets – alone here, with a dying brown moth. I nail in boards with loud BANGs. Bashing blue blood blisters onto my fingers, mummifying my jeans in carpetenters’ glue.

Could this closet be a sanctuary, too?

1 Peter 1:2 has been like parsley stems in my mouth for months now. I keep chewing it and it never goes away.

It was written to ordinary people who lost everything. They’re in exile for the name of Jesus. They face new places, new faces. New lives to start, with nothing. Peter tells them they are chosen. Tells them that God knew them before anything of this world existed, and He chose them by the work of His Spirit making them holy. Chosen to obey Jesus Christ. Chosen to be sprinkled with His blood.

Glue the corner, hammer one side down, prop the other up, hammer again, hit a finger, hammer again, nail the corner, sand the corner.


I am chosen like those first-century Christians for the same twin purposes: obeying Christ, and to be sprinkled with His blood. Every step of the day I am obedient and I am cleansed. By the work of the Spirit, by the choice of the Father.

Bang – in goes another nail.

Is this obedience to You, Christ?



*clarification: this post was scribbled down this Summer, as I worked in finishing (construction) with my brother and sister. I’m no longer in the same Canadian province as those siblings, and no longer doing this job (i.e. no more baseboards, but always new forms of sanctification)


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