“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Day 6
“It is finished!” John 19:30
The Antique Rocking Chair
The carpenter is not disappointed
by the ruined finish or the broken arm,
loose spindles, failed glue joints.
He checks the chair for its rhythm,
rests carefully in its solid seat and tests
the sway, hums an ancient hymn,
feels the wind that wore away the finish,
drove the rain between the grains
and diminished the lacquered polish.
A chip along the armrest where a son
discovered mischief with a chisel
can be remedied, the crimson
scribble across the headrest should be
buffered out easily. He takes a pin punch
and hammer, twists the spindles free.
The worn seat board is planed to true
the surface; he’s careful to avoid removing
too much wood. And when he’s through
clamping cauls, filling end-grain breaks
and feathering maple wedge ends, he
carefully spreads the stripper paste
in heavy coats, waits for the softening
and scrapes away the residue. A putty knife
lifts bubbled layers of tired stain.
Away goes the ache of discoloration,
oil dissolved, original grains exposed.
Every crevice is cleansed, each abrasion
doctored with twine between the grooves,
brass-bristled brushes in each recess.
He sands away the raised grain, removes
the marks in the concave seat. With glue
that’s slow to set, the seat and arms are raised
and then the spindles and splat. It’s almost new,
the way the old has been removed. The carpenter
knows the chair won’t last without stain
and picks a distinguishing shade to bear the wear
of another century. It is set apart, protected
with three coats of clear wood finish. The rocker
holds the woodworker: it is finished.
~ Sarah M. Wells (C) 2010
This post was previously featured as the “7” virtual art-walk series. Click here to find out more.Also, don’t miss the Embodied series during this Lenten season, as well as scripture reflections every Monday.
Blessings of ARTistry, CREATivity & BEaUty, Jody
(c) 2018 Jody Thomae
Jody Thomae is the author of God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You, a devotional book with Bible studies to nurture the creative spirit within and to serve as a resource for creative Christians, artists, musicians and worshippers. She has been involved in worship arts ministry since 1997, coordinating artistic involvement in church services and regional worship events through dance, drama, poetry and fine arts and has had the opportunity to perform, teach, choreograph, preach, coordinate and lead workshops in the area of creativity, spirituality and embodied prayer. She has also recently released a devotional CD, Song of the Beloved.
Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and formational ministry. It is her desire to portray the message of Christ’s desperate and unfailing love for His people to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. Life scriptures include Psalm 27; Isaiah 50:4-7; and Zephaniah 3:14-17.