Makers Marks

Last month my daughter got me a maker’s stamp for my birthday. I’d wanted one for a while so I was thrilled to get it. Tonight I was speaking with a Brother that makes knives and he showed me a knife he had recently made. It is absolutely beautiful, too, I must say. On the blade he had etched his own maker’s mark, which he also designed. I was very interested in hearing how he put his mark on the blades. It required a template, some special chemical and a special tool. To put my mark on my items is much easier: I just take the stamp my daughter got me and give it a good “whack” with my maul. Of course working with leather compared to metal is like apples and oranges: they are totally different so the processes will be, too.

As I thought about this tonight it made me think of how God seals or puts His mark on His children. We are all grafted into His family at our new birth and marked as His. People are as different as snowflakes, much more different than leather and steel. But since the Lord made each of us He is well aware of that. No matter if we are closer to the properties of leather or closer to the hardness of steel, the Holy Spirit can mark us accordingly. The beauty of being born again, among other things, is being made anew; no matter what we used to be God can make us into what we should be.

Re-Ground

I have this old knife that I use occasionally. It was originally, I believe, either a cobbler’s or harness maker’s knife. It is old but still in good condition and it’s blade is made of quality steel. What ever it was originally used for, the shape and angle of the blade are not suited well for what I use it for. So, I decided that if the blade were re-ground into the proper shape I could use it more effectively and more often.

I started with a very course stone, worked to a less course one, to a medium and finally a fine stone. After all this the blade was reshaped into a much more suitable one for the work I wanted to do with it. However, it still wasn’t quite to where I thought it needed to be for optimal use so I then polished the new edge carefully on two different strops with two different compounds. Finally, after much time and effort, the old knife was now converted from its original “job” into a tool that fit it’s new “job”.

The Bible teaches us a lot about how we are converted and
made into a new creature. This initial conversion, our spiritual rebirth, is the most important one we experience. But it shouldn’t be the only conversion experience in our life. As we go along the path in this life God will often re-grind us into a new tool, suited to a new “job”. Some times this process is one we embrace, others one we fight. No matter if we initially embrace or reject this “conversion” we know that God knows best where and how to use us, individually and corporately. Depending on where we are and what our “job” has been, some times we will only need fo be polished some. But other times people, and even organizations, are re-tooled so completely, into a brand new tool, that it needs be that we are re-ground from scratch, starting with a very course stone, all the way down to the final polish.

Change, which is essentially what conversion means, is some thing many of us are not comfortable with, even loath. But our Creator knows best how to use us all in order to serve His purposes. We just need to trust Him and be malleable; the result will be amazing if we will.