I will confess I have never seen an artisan working with metal in-person, but I have watched YouTube videos. And even on a video, I stand in awe of the work of such artisans, those who work with metals such as iron, steel, silver, and gold.
These artisans have a way of seeing something that no one else can.
An artisan begins with piece of metal, a chunk of something that looks like nothing. Then, the artisan heats the metal until it is soft and pliable, before using an anvil to pummel and pound the metal into a new shape. The process of heating and pounding is repeated over and over again, until finally, the finished product is plunged into water, freezing the metal into its new shape.
It's a beautiful process, one that requires immense skill and precision and purpose.
The work of the artisan strikes me as something of the work of God.
We are the raw material. Sometimes we are hard, sometimes we resist change, but we are always in need of being formed. And God is the artisan, who uses the heat of fire and the pounding of an anvil to shape us into something new. Perhaps even into something only God can see.
Let’s be clear, such a process isn’t necessarily easy for us, the raw material. The heat of the fire can burn. The pounding of the anvil can be painful.
And yet, with time, something new, something beautiful emerges.
But the thing is, the finished product isn’t possible without the fire and the pounding. A piece of metal doesn’t simply get formed into an object without the precise and purposeful work of the artisan.
And maybe that’s something of how God works in our lives, precisely and purposefully forming us into the people God calls us to be.
Grace and peace,