But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get
leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. Romans 6:22
The Hammer and the Butterfly
God has a way of showing up in the most unexpected ways it seems. The words He gives me to share comes in strange ways, or perhaps I just have a strange way of looking at everyday things. My weekly writings often tell a story from the store where I work almost every day. The teenagers I work with sometimes read what I write and say something like, "I never thought you could write anything about that." But it seems lately they have come to expect grocery store happenings to be intertwined with my devotional writings and even encourage it.
This weekend I looked out on the busy highway in front of the store as I often do when we don't have customers. The cars whiz by so fast you'd think it was a racetrack instead of a highway with our parking lot serving as a pit stop for many. As I looked out I saw something bouncing onto the road from a red car. Now whether the bouncing object was thrown or if it fell from the car wasn't clear. The car was moving way to fast. Between the cars, I could see the object clearer once it had landed. It was a hammer. A young man named Kelton was working with me that day. I pointed out the hammer and told him someone should go pick it up because all the cars were running over it. As I watched Kelton dodge traffic to pick up the hammer, I prayed he wouldn't get hit. He came in smiling and handed me the yellow handled hammer. I said, "Thanks I needed a hammer. I am going to take it home." Kelton asked, "So, are you going to write about a hammer this week?" I smiled and quoted a few lines from the old song If I Had A Hammer. I got the hammer from my car when I got home and the yellow handle fell off. All that work to retrieve a hammer that could hammer absolutely nothing!
The next day there was a pretty black and yellow butterfly inside the front window of the store through which I watch the cars go by. I watched it for a while and was reminded of the yellow handled hammer from the day before. The butterfly of the exact color of yellow as the hammer fluttered and bounced back and forth trying to find its' way to the freedom on the other side of the window. I thought of the song again and thought about the line in it about freedom. "If I had a hammer I'd hammer out justice, I'd hammer out freedom all over this land." With that thought, I went and caught the butterfly and set him free at the front door. Within minutes I looked and the butterfly was back inside. Wesley, a young man who was working with me, had observed my efforts to set the butterfly free. He said, "I guess it didn't want to be free. It's too hot out there." I said, "Oh well, I did my part."
The moral to this story:
Sometimes we waste precious time and put ourselves in harm's way even, working hard to retrieve things that have been lost that aren't worth the effort to retrieve. Move forward. Broken hammers are useless. If what you are doing isn't working for you, find new tools to work within your life. Freedom isn't something that can be given to butterfiles, or people who enjoy being imprisoned. Some would rather continue to try to fly through a closed window instead of accepting freedom freely given. After you show them the way, you have done your part. Move on. Enjoy your life. It goes by really fast. Enjoy the freedom that was given to you by Jesus. Nails hammered in His hands hammered out the path for us to obtain eternal life.
True freedom comes to those who believe in Christ.