When A Father Builds

I see smoke rise as pieces and chips of wood float in the wind and around his face as he squints his pale blue eyes.

Its a piercing sound.

I hear it often. Day and night.

The sound of wood being sawed, hammered, nailed, followed  by the mounds of sawdust left in heaps covering the ground and grass. It later beckons the children to toss as confetti and I quickly say a prayer it stays out of their eyes.

His workroom stays filled with the smell of wood, of oak and of hours of squinting and sawing and building and sanding, a mess but a beautiful mess not seen till the end.

Its a sound most days I wish would go away, that ear piercing wail, that produces the finest pieces of work in its completion and which the neighbors often bring up in passing eager to see what he's building next.

I pull my books from its shelf, file my children's schoolwork on it, place my nightly glass of water on top, type upon it. Its more than I realize what hes made from wood that now sits in our home.

And the latest a bunk bed- play house for the children above my oldests bed. 

The days and hours it took were exhausting to watch. Time. Time could be better spent doing something more important, for me. It seemed as if it would never be completed and with me hovering hands on waist its a wonder it did.

All the trips back and forth from room to work area, the tracked shoe marks of sawdust and dirt through the house, the heaps of sawdust on my sons bed and floor, both were vacuumed out daily.

I disapproved and saw it as wasteful even though the wood was free it was a waste of time, of moments, of adding this and that, unnecessary.

I didn't see the value in it and I let him know I didn't. 

Those instances when you open the mouth and out comes frustrations that were hidden until the big final moment of reveal and all is released and in the end you hang your head, ashamed, that was me on Father's Day.

I spewed and he listened and listened and then I heard his words and my heart tore as his eyes swelled with silent tears and his brow creased and it revealed the lines of time that weren't present a year ago. And my heart sank more when he spoke.

Building this house for the boys all the hours and minutes, wood and mess and sweat, was his way of wishing and wanting to build us a house, to give us a real house of our own and since he couldn't give me or the boys that this was all he could do. This was all he had. And his heart showed in it and I couldn't see it. 

His words rang true "House or no house of ours we have faith and love and always hope... that's what builds a home...you can never love too much or respect too much." 

All I saw was wasted time and mess and all he saw was love and faith and a chance to give happiness. 

And all the boys saw was a place to hide and pretend, pretend that they were someplace else and they would holler and scream and peak through holes and play in a freedom that adults only dream of.

But when they were through they opened the door, climbed the steps back down to solid ground and laughed and smiled the smiles that reached the ears and they would go search him out and then they three would holler and scream and laugh.

And I could only stand and watch and shake my head, wondering when this mess of me would ever understand. How long would it take till I could see?

I needed to look deeper.
Look deeper, past the mess because hidden underneath is a beautiful meaning that can't be seen unless we see.

Lay all of life's messes bare before him and remember to see as He sees; I am a mess but He sees me as His beautiful mess, a beautiful mess that He gladly gave Himself for so that I could see my worth in the mess and rejoice in it. We will always have mess but its a beauty because of Him.

And so I saw in my husband a need fulfilled, a hearts need and as I look around at all of the wood that graces our home I remember the motive: You can never love too much.