Dear George and Max
You’re 18 and, in the eyes of the world, officially adults. Yay!
I love you and I am proud of you. You are fine young men—good-looking, healthy, intelligent, cosmopolitan, considerate, spiritual and a lot of fun.
There is one more important thing I want you to know—YOU are also God’s workmanship.
Do you remember, a few years ago, going to visit the Simon Pearce mill and restaurant in Quechee, Vermont, and seeing the glassblowers at work? We watched as one glassblower carefully extracted a glowing bright orange glob of molten glass from a searing furnace using a long metal rod, the blowpipe. He sat down and gently rolled the rod backwards and forwards and the glob took on a rounded form. He then used what looked like oversized tweezers to add with precision more molten glass to the glob. He continued to add glass, roll, and expertly manipulate the object, until it began to take shape. As it cooled, a perfectly clear and smooth wine goblet had been created before our eyes.
Glassblowing is skilled workmanship. In the same way, God’s work in creating you is masterful.
In some translations of this verse from Ephesians the word workmanship is substituted for handiwork. Handiwork reminds me of those knitted yellow chicks, sent to you at Easter by Grandma, to hold Cadbury’s cream eggs. Being someone’s handiwork is nothing to brag about. It’s nice, but it does not describe God’s exceptional work in making you.
Another translation uses the word masterpiece. Remember going to the National Portrait Gallery in London to see an exhibition? People shuffle along, whispering in low tones, looking serious, and then when they come to a piece of outstanding artwork they stand back and observe, some for a long time. However, masterpieces are not very useful. God did not make you to be looked at and admired, or for others to think you’re kinda weird.
Instead, as God’s workmanship you are made for a purpose. You are not a collection of cells to live a random existence. You are not an accident. God planned and created you for a role.
Yet, there is a twist.
God’s workmanship of you is perfect, but you were born and live in a fallen world, so you are imperfect. You are amazing and talented, but you’re flawed, too. Sorry!
Perfect glasswork makes it onto the shelves of the Simon Pearce shop in Quechee. However, the imperfect items are discarded.
Yet, God doesn’t reject you for being defective. God can use you for his purposes regardless of your imperfections.
How? You know the answer…Jeeeesuuuus! God sent his own Son who broke into a sweat and took the heat of the furnace so you can be perfect and imperfect at the same time, and be useful to God.
We have two beautiful glass tumblers from the Simon Pearce workshop, given to us by Grandma. Each one, because of the high quality of the workmanship, is unique and expensive. Your life is unique and expensive, too. God purchased you with the life of his Son. And on the bottom of each tumbler you will notice what looks like an imperfection. It is where the tumbler was attached to the blowpipe. Let this be a reminder you are perfect when you are attached to Jesus.
As you begin your adult life, I hope you will simply remember you are God’s workmanship, and say to God, here I am use me.
Mamma the bear xxxxxx
(“Letters” image: Freefoto.com)
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