A remarkable elderly lady in our congregation had a unique ministry. Every week, a guard ushered her into a visiting room where she would counsel, love, and pray with women prisoners. She was a lady of steel out the outside and tenderness on the inside. Haidi had a bumper sticker on her car that said, “I work for the Jewish carpenter.” Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, certainly placed the right woman in a job that suited her to a T.
I like the idea of “working for the Jewish carpenter.” It brings God’s purposes for me and my day down to a level I can understand. I imagine Jesus in his shop, with a sort of first century version of a tool belt around his waist. He holds a hammer and points to something he wants done.
If only those assignments were that clear in real life. Although a friend once said you usually find what God wants you to do at the tip of your nose. In other words, respond the way Jesus would to daily events as they unfold. Perhaps a neighbor needs a ride, or someone longs for a sympathetic ear. Bring a container of home-made soup to someone who is ill.
I never know what the Jewish Carpenter has in store for me on any day, but holding that image of my Boss in mind, keeps me from getting flustered or anxious.
When I’m running late, I remember he has my timecard.
When I don’t think I’m up to the task, I remember he’s a call away.
When I screw up, I remember he knows exactly what I’m trying to do, and he’ll take care of it.
He has my back.
He knows when I need a raise.
The best part about working for him is no applicant is ever turned away; no need for references or previous experience. Any employee can grow in his/her job by reading the employee manual called the Bible. He provides lots of free in-services in there.
I do know that when you work for the Jewish carpenter, he’ll keep you busier that a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rockers.
A friend in my writers’ critique group caustically remarked, “You could probably sell this article if you didn’t have that Bible reference in it. But you work for God.”
“True,” I replied. “But you can’t beat my retirement package.”