I laid out my blocks so carefully, meticulously fitted for function and form. And I sat back, pleased with my plan and product. But then,
the wind blew, and the lightest fixtures fell and broke in the falling. And big, hurried feet stomped by, almost unaware that I had even been building. And the sight left
was a crumpled mess, and
that all the work was in vain. It seemed so useless. Why did I even spend my time thinking and building when nothing lasted of my effort and imagination?
In my pain, I fingered my trampled treasures. Did I have the will to try again? I wasn’t sure.
But one by one, I pulled blocks and pieces from the mess and tried to make order from the brokenness. This time, I thought, I will not take so much time.
I’ll not think so much—maybe just bump color to color, form to form, as I feel it at the moment.
And it didn’t turn out too badly, actually. It was not as ordered as the first, but it had a certain “something,” and I was happy with the result. But
then the earth shook, and the blocks tumbled, and a red ball from an innocent child’s game came careening through my works, and
pieces lay scattered and crushed before my feet and my open hands, and
that all the work was in vain. It seemed so useless. And I really had no will to try again.
It was not surrender as much as a giving up.
Broken, despairing, I sat in the rubble, not knowing what to do next with my time and these pitiful talents. And then,
the voice came.
I’m not sure if it was outside or inside, but it felt like cool, blue liquid, running in and around on a melody.
“Where did you get your blocks? Was it not from me?”
My yes was swallowed up before it hit the air. “But was I not to build something useful with all these wonderful things?
“The blocks were indeed for building, but not your own work. I gave them to you to give away, and in that giving, build something greater, wider, and indestructible. By keeping them to yourself, you made a fragile work that could not stand up to the testing times. It may seem like a contradiction, but when you give your blocks away, what you build becomes intermingled with the many. The blocks and the people intertwined become the building, and you will find that it is a much more efficient way to build—strong enough to resist the shaking. And strong enough to last.”
I fingered a block in my hand as the melody faded: “Perhaps, it is time to begin again.”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (Living)
“And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Matthew 25:44-45 (ESV)
“Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”