When I married The Mister, he was a young strong builder. (He is still a builder and very strong…..just not so young anymore) He has the innate ability to see something out of a pile of lumber and a cleared off piece of ground. Even now, he will with great detail explain the shop that he is planning to build when he finishes school. According to what I can understand it will be big and have room for his endless supply of tools and I’m quite sure an old hotrod that will take more of his attention on days off than me.
It has always amazed me that he has the ability to actually see this structure he intends on building. Whether it is crown molding around a ceiling or a workshop, he “sees” it, down to the details of telling me the measurements of roof pitch and so forth. I mostly smile and nod having no idea what a 3-12 roof pitch is.
And I love to watch him work. Each step is deliberate. He concentrates, He knows and sees that thing I do not and toils until I see the skeleton rise from a pile of lumber. Armed with a nail gun and sweat, he molds into being a roof, then walls are attached and he is in his element. Building. Constructing. Living in the rule of “measure twice, cut once” he creates what was the picture in his mind into walls that we touch and a floor that catches his sweat rolling off his arms.
Don’t let unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those that listen.
In an instant after reading these words this morning, a quiet Friday morning, just me in my chair and The Mister, with his last minute review before his test in an hour, I realize that building is a deliberate thing. Whether it be a hammer and nails, or a word and action, building is deliberate.
And so I look up and say, “I’m really proud of you, you know that right?”
And he smiles and nods and returns to his book, memorizing the stages of labor and the delicate parts of the newborn. All the while building is going on.
Building something of value takes planning. There is no place for careless word or sloppy workmanship. He has taught me this. Each word is a nail. Each off hand comment, a piece of trim surrounding a beating heart.
I slow down. I realize that I need to listen, uncover the need before I speak, much like The Mister who stands and stares at the plot before ever picking up his hammer. I listen and observe before tailoring my words to fit the situation. I want no loose screws or crooked boards when I walk away.
And so I use his wisdom and the Greater Wisdom to use my words to construct a thing of usefulness, even beauty.
Jesus, let my words be few, but with deliberate purpose today.