The Bear

I didn’t covet… and I wasn’t envious. Let’s just say I r-e-a-l-l-y appreciated carved bears. In the car, I would comment to my husband about each bear we passed. They’re friendly. They have character. I wanted one.

logTwo weeks ago we had a large pine tree cut down in our yard, so I decided I would make a bear myself. My husband asked the tree cutters to saw off about a three-foot section — I doubt that he told them why. After spending an hour watching bear carving demonstrations online, I knew the awful truth. I can’t carve a bear — I don’t have the neck-to-ankle apron that protects the carver! Okay, it was more than that. Even if I had the apron, I couldn’t wield a chain saw with the precision and control that was needed. And… I realized this would take practice and I only had one log. And… it looked hard! So I quickly converted the plans for my log from a bear to a bench.

Then, for no reason but love, my husband bought me a bear. Be still my heart — I love that bear! I watch him out my kitchen window; I pat him on the head; I say hello when I pull in the driveway; and I’m sure that with the warmer weather, he and I will have great conversations.

bearAs usual, I had imagined the bear carving project would be easier and shorter than it actually is (see my previous Flea Market post). This put me on a contemplative path, thinking about the time and methods needed to turn something good enough into something attractive, usable, endearing.

I like to think that God can simply show me a flaw to work on, or a behavior to correct, or a thought pattern to modify. At most He may have to chisel a little away – you know, gently but firmly with a penknife. But, let’s face it, sometimes it requires a chain saw, motor roaring, chips flying, chunks falling to the ground. I have been there and it’s kind of where I’ve now been for a couple of months. But of this I am sure, when the roar dies down and the stench of the fuel stops, when the chips are swept away and I’m covered with a protective preservative, I’ll be a better bear.

I will reflect the loving skill of my Creator. I’ll be more attractive to Him and to others. I’ll be usable and, hopefully, I will endear others to Him and bring Him pleasure.